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Str8s & Queers:

Straights Read This: Your Day of Silence

Straight people, show your support of queer, trans, and LGB people on The Day of Silence--April 20th, 2012--by saying absolutely nothing for the entire day! Straight peoples voices are the voices that are always heard, valued, and appreciated. Shutting up for a whole day is an opportunity for you as a straight person--however much of an ally you might be--to momentarily experience the silence you force upon queer, trans, and LGB people every day. Without straight voices dominating conversation the hope is that queer, trans, and LGB people will have one fucking day where they can express their interests, values, and opinions without being shut down. This means one day where you dont grind all over your hetero partner in public, where you shut up and listen intently to queer folks talk about their hot sex, and where you stop asking trans people invasive questions about their bodies. This means one day where you dont fetishize lesbians or ask which one

is the man, one day where you dont force gay men to admit they are attracted to you, and one day when you dont tell bisexual people theyll just get over it. It also means one tiny day where you dont humiliate, threaten, beat up, and kill queer, trans, and LGB people. We deal with your oppressive shit every day and our patience is wearing thin. Its time for you to learn to take up less space and let queer people get a word in edgewise. For those of you who claim to care about queer, trans, and LGB peoples lives and well being, its time to show it. For those of you who care fuck-all about queer people, we care fuck-all about you.

Queers Read This: For Queers on Queer Noise

The Day of Silence is supposed to highlight the historic silencing of queer, trans, and LGB people by the dominant culture. However, by having a day when queer, trans, and LGB people are once again asked to be quiet (since they are

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usually the only ones to fully participate), our rights and safety are no more highlighted on The Day of Silence than on every other day when straight people force us to be silent. We understand that queer people often need to be silent in order to protect their safety, and we believe queers should do everything they can to protect themselves and survive. However, an LGBT anti-bullying action shouldnt request intentional silence on the part of queer people. Be mad, be angry, and be fucking loud, because people are dying. In the 1990s when the AIDS epidemic was at its height, queer folks mobilized in response to government inaction and gay assimilationist organizations by forming groups like ACT UP and the Silence=Death Project, by making propaganda--such as the infamous image included--and by bashing back. In its manifesto, the Silence = Death Project drew parallels between the Nazi period and the AIDS crisis, declaring that silence about the oppression and annihilation of gay people, then and now, must be broken as a matter of

our survival. (The Encyclopedia of AIDS) The death of queer people did not stop in the 90s. Today, queer people are still dying because our culture silences issues important to us and neglects our basic human needs, such as safety, housing, healthcare, and appreciation. Suicide--as a result of harassment or simply trying to exist in a violent culture--HIV/AIDS, and murder are actively killing queer, trans, and LGB youth and people (particularly queer people of color, queer people with disabilities, and trans women). This recent trend of complacency on our part is getting us nothing (except maybe married...) and therefore we advise that folks allow themselves to be angry and act on that anger. Of course, first we need to think of our own safety. However, straight people dont deserve our concern for their hurt feelings because they alienate us as queer, trans, and LGB people every damn day. We deserve to be loud, we deserve to be angry, and we deserve to exist and to take up

space. Queers, in conclusion: Let this day begin our noise. Its time to make straight people shut up and listen to us. Sincerely, some angry queerz