Pride hosts pair of events to honor LGBTQA+ community

Analicia Haynes, Online Editor

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As a way to raise awareness for and celebrate the voices of LGBTQA+ individuals, EIU Pride will host “Day of Silence” and “Night of Noise.”

The Eastern community can participate in the nationwide Day of Silence all day Friday. The Night of Noise will be from 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at Campus Pond.

Alex Woolley, the social chair for EIU Pride, said Night of Noise is intended to be a space where LGBTQA+ people can come together and not “forget” about all the constant harassment, violence and abuse that is a reality for LGBTQA+ individuals.

Rather, it is a way to come together and celebrate what achievements have been made within the community and the fact that they have made it here.

“We know that queer and trans people have to deal with so much death, harassment and violence and abuse,” Woolley said. “Night of Noise is a party/celebration to uplift queer and trans voices and people who are still here and to come together and celebrate each other and those who came before us and those who will come after us.”

There will be a bonfire, music and food for those in attendance.

“Honestly just have a kiki and have fun; queer and trans people really need it,” Woolley said. “We’ll have a bonfire with music and food and good times.”

The Day of Silence is intended to raise awareness and pay respect for LGBTQA+ people who have lost their lives to suicide, harassment and violence.

According to the website for the organization GLSEN, “Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ.”

The website says Day of Silence is a “student-led national event organized in thousands of schools, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools.”

Woolley said people do not speak all day long because it represents the voices that have been silenced.

“It is something any student, faculty member or anyone can participate in to raise awareness and pay respect,” Woolley said. “It is also a way to disrupt within a community to show people who may not be concerned with the rates of death of queer and trans people that it could be any of us who are silenced.”

Woolley said no sign up is required for the Day of Silence because it is a personal choice to participate in solidarity.

They said the goal is to really spread awareness, pay respect and “in a way still uplift the voices and lives of those no longer with us.”

 

Analicia Haynes can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected]