Harvey Milk, Steven Charles, Charlie Howard, Rebecca Wight, Claudia Brenner, James Zappalorti, Brandon Teena, Marsha P. Johnson, Amanda Milan, Loni Kai, Gwen Araujo, Angie Zapata, Christa Leigh Steele-Knudslien, Viccky Gutierrez, Tonya Harvey, and Celine Walker. What do all of these previous names have in common? They were all members of the LGBTQ+ community, and they were all also murdered for it. People would like to believe we now live in a world that is more open-minded and accepting, that these heinous crimes are only sad memories. You would like to think we know better now, and that the world has changed. You’re wrong because the last four people I mentioned in that list were murdered within the first two months of 2018.
Notice how I used these people’s names, instead of statistics to represent them instead. I do this because they were human beings, with lives, friends, and families. They were not numbers, and to use only statistics and numbers to represent them has clearly not been enough to stop the trend from continuing. When we see statistics of these crimes, we need to remember to see past the numbers and remember they’re people. Unfortunately, the list I made is a shortened version of a much, much longer one of the people who have violently lost their lives for being who they are. I would like you to please reread the list of names at the beginning again, and think about how the people who loved them must have felt to get a phone call telling them that person is gone. Forever.
It is an unfortunate fact that the passing of time is not enough to prevent horrendous acts from taking place. People, however, can help. The goal of the LGBTQ+ community is to simply be recognized as equal to everyone else and to be treated as such. They are not different, or lesser, than anyone else and definitely shouldn’t be targeted for violence. I hope to high heaven and back that people as a whole figure that out soon and stop the violence, and learn to educate themselves instead. So do your part to instead show love instead of hate, and educate those who don’t understand, and end the violence before it continues. It has nothing to do with time, and everything to do with people. People collectively have to decide to do better and stop resorting to horrible actions against those who did absolutely nothing to deserve it. Nobody deserves to die for being who they are. To quote the Lorax, a fictional character who seems to have more wisdom than an alarming majority of people, “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, Nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”
There are multiple events that have been set into motion by LC Pride and the Diversity Council for March to help bring more on-campus awareness as well, including events for LGBTQ+ Health Awareness Week (Which will take place during the last week of March). There have been rumors of flying the LGBTQ+ Rainbow flag as well as the Transgender Pride Flag, The possibility of a Transgender Speaker in honor of International Transgender Day of Visibility, as well as talk of a Vigil for LGBTQ+ people who have lost their lives to violence so far this year. There is also, of course, the club LC Pride here on campus for any LGBTQ+ students looking for a safe place to be themselves, and to build a strong community here at LCCC! Any participation shown for these events is a great way to show your support and solidarity with the LGBTQ+ Community! More details are to come which will be announced through The Bridge as well as LC Pride, and the college’s Facebook page!