Don't let friends discriminate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the editor:
Last Saturday night, while walking home with my partner, I was verbally harassed because my partner and I are both women. Yelling “Hey lesbos” and “fucking dykes” over and over again until we were halfway down the street, the young man who verbally assaulted us did so at the corner of Richmond and Central streets " barely a two-minute walk from my front door.

The chances of the homophobe in question being a Western student are depressingly high. Someone I likely share my student experience with is willing to scream at me for daring to hold hands with my partner in public. His friends were conspicuously silent " they didn’t join in the harassment, but they didn’t tell him to stop either.

How many times does it need to be said? Homophobia hurts; homophobia kills. All queer youths, including myself, are at a substantially higher risk for depression and suicide because of hatred like this.

Here’s my message to my peers " the people I sit next to in class and the people I stand behind in the line for Tim Hortons: whenever you refuse to stand up to your friends for saying “That’s gay,” or for screaming at a stranger, you’re supporting homophobia.

You’re hurting me and people like me. Not being that jackass on the corner is not enough " the debilitating harassment faced by queer youth won’t stop until more people stand up to the acts of homophobia, big and small, which take place on and off this campus every day.

Stop hurting me. Stop hurting people like me. Refuse to implicitly support homophobia with your silence. Don’t your fellow students deserve at least that much respect?
"Meghan Adams
English III

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