YOU ARE NOT ALONE event: Oct. 11
Over the last week we have seen significant media coverage on the suicides of LGBTQ youths and the cyberbullying attack on the student government president at the University of Michigan. These incidents, which reflect actions of homophobia and gender policing through bullying, are reminders of the extent to which oppression is manifest in language, actions and cultural norms of gender and sexual conformity. As we extend thoughts and condolences to those impacted by these events, we want to make a clear statement to members of our Syracuse communities: you are not alone. Support, advocacy and outreach are available to every lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, queer and ally community member through a variety of resources.
The student suicide at Rutgers demonstrates to us all that there are no such things as “innocuous” words or actions. Isolation and marginalization can occur regardless of whether there is support and outreach. As recent suicides among LGBTQ young people indicate, the consequences can be severe. We all have more to learn about how people can be harmed or silenced by violence, harassment and covert and overt forms of oppression. These incidents remind us of the important role that empowered bystanders can play in challenging acts of harassment so all members of our community are welcome and accepted.
To members of our LGBTQQA communities who may be struggling to find support, or those with shared experiences, or who are experiencing a lack of campus connection, we want you to know that you are not alone.
To begin talking about ways we can make SU and Central New York more inclusive and connected, we are working together to provide a space for first steps. Oct. 11 is National Coming Out Day, and this year we will celebrate with a show of visible solidarity and conversations in community building.
What can you do?
Attend “You Are Not Alone: Panel and Conversations in Response to LGBTQ Suicides and Bullying” Oct. 11, 7 p.m., Gifford Auditorium. The event will include:
- A viewing of “Trevor,” a short film about the experience of a gay teen struggling with coming out while surrounded by homophobia from family and friends.
- A panel discussion with SU campus and community members on the climate and impact of homophobia, suicide and bullying, followed by an open community discussion about next steps.
Participate in National Coming Out Day Oct. 11, and wear a T-shirt to tell other students, “You are not alone!”
The LGBT Resource Center has developed an awareness initiative using T-shirts to emphasize the message, “You are not alone.” Come to the LGBT Resource Center to receive a free T-shirt Friday, Oct. 8, between 8:30 a.m.-5 p.m. (750 Ostrom Ave.). T-shirts are available on a first come, first served basis. Supplies are limited.
We hope these shirts will be part of a larger effort to enhance the visibility of the vast allyship at SU and in Central New York. We hope those who choose to pick up a shirt will also wear this shirt on Transgender Day of Remembrance, National Day of Silence and other LGBTQ related events about awareness and advocacy. We are hopeful these shirts, worn by a significant number of our communities, will demonstrate our various communities’ inclusion and support of LGBTQ people and resistance to heterosexism and homophobia.
You can also join the “You are not alone SU/ESF” Facebook group, and also make the logo your profile picture on Oct. 11. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=164974540181663&ref=search
These events are sponsored by: The LGBT Resource Center, in conjunction with Counseling Center, Hendricks Chapel, LGBT Studies, Office of First-Year and Transfer Programs, Office of Off-Campus and Commuter Students, Office of Residence Life, Open Doors, Pride Union, The Q Center, QuERI, Rainbow Alliance of CNY, R.A.P.E. Center, Slutzker Center for International Services and the Division of Student Affairs.