Letter to the Editor – LGBTQ+

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Dear Editor,

My name is Zara, and I’m a 13 year old resident of Kemptville. Mistreatment of LGBTQ+ people is, despite the efforts being made, still a big problem in our world. According to RCI (Radio Canada International), Gay, lesbian, bisexual and other sexual minority people in Canada were almost three times more likely than heterosexual Canadians to report that they had been physically or sexually assaulted. 

Fifty-nine per cent of people from sexual minorities said they had been assaulted at some point since the age of 15.

This year, my family and I will be taking part in The Day of Silence. From dawn to dusk, everyone who participates in the Day of Silence doesn’t say a word. Sometimes, if you are doing this as a part of your school, or some other organization, there may be a closing ceremony where there are speeches, and everyone breaks their vow together. Or you might prefer to simply not speak all day. It’s up to you! 

The Day of Silence is to help us to understand and commemorate what LGBTQ+ folks might go through every day! 10% of Queer folks report feeling silenced because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. And those are just the people who’ve reported it!

For instance, 2008’s Day of Silence was in memory of Larry King who was shot by a classmate because of his sexual identity. He was 15 years old. That is a horrendous and unspeakable action. And yet, it needs to be spoken about. People need to know about what is going on! We can’t let this go. This isn’t acceptable. Something needs to change! Larry King isn’t the only one either.

This year’s Day of Silence is on Friday, April 8. Most schools would be ok with you taking the vow, it’s just important to check in with your teacher, principal, or vice principal, depending on how your school works. If your school refuses, this could be a good way to make a difference, to protest what is going on! Gather classmates, and all take the vow together, or put up posters. Just make sure to check with a guardian first so that they can back you up and you don’t have to get into trouble!

Or, if you’re an adult at work, try asking your boss if you can do it. An alternative, if you have a big meeting, is to only do it for half the day; you’d still be making a difference! Make sure to do extra research on The Day of Silence, that way if anyone asks you why you are doing it, you can explain why. 

A good website for learning more about The Day of Silence is National Today. 

Please participate!

Zara Zrudlo

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