Harvard's campus will be quieter today, as a number of students plan to observe the National Day of Silence that marks the beginning of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian and Transgender Pride Month (Gaypril).
This is the first year that Harvard is participating in the Day of Silence, sponsored by the National Day of Silence Project.
The Project, founded in 1998, asks participants-who can be of any sexual orientation-to take an eight-hour vow of silence and distribute cards that say: "Please understand my reasons for not speaking today. I support lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender rights. People who are silent today believe that laws and attitudes should be inclusive of people of all sexual orientations. The Day of Silence is to draw attention to those who have been silenced by hatred, oppression and prejudice. Think about the voices you are not hearing. What can you do to end the silence?"
Vow-takers will begin their silence at 9 a.m., meet in Adams House for a Silent Luncheon from 12-2 p.m., and end their pledge with a Break the Silence Rally in front of the Science Center at 5 p.m.
In academic situations, they will be allowed to speak.
"The National Day of Silence is about protesting intolerance and homophobia, and showing solidarity with the gay community," said Albert H. Cho '02, the co-chair of Bisexual, Gay, Lesbian, Transgender and Supporters Alliance (BGLTSA), one of the 17 student organizations sponsoring the day.
BGLTSA is sponsoring Gaypril, a month-long program of speakers, panel discussions and meetings. Joshua Legg, of the Freedom to Marry Coalition, and Romance languages and literatures Professor Brad Epps will speak, among others. Panel discussions on immigration and domestic violence are also scheduled.
Later this month, BGLTSA is planning a panel discussion on homosexual legal issues with Gay & Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD), New England's homosexual legal public interest group.
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