On April 12, the national Day of Silence was observed by the Creighton Gender and Sexuality Alliance to bring awareness to LGBTQ individuals who are bullied and harassed.
Alyssa Hostert, the president of the organization, said that the Day of Silence is “how we can show our solidarity with these individuals, while also teaching others about the problems we face.”
“Regarding the presence of this day on campus this year, we did not have as large of a showing as we typically have had in previous years,” said Hostert. “However, we did table on the mall and in Skutt for the week leading up to that day, and we had many people stop by to show their support, which I found to be very encouraging.”
Several executives for the organization commented on their participation in the Day of Silence.
Alyssa Bursott, the vice president of education, said that she was unable to participate in the Day of Silence this year because she was attending a research event. Grace Landis, the chief communications officer, said she did not have classes on the Day of Silence, so she would have “just [been by herself] and it would not have made a statement.”
Both Bursott and Landis agreed that the Day of Silence was important in showing support for LGBTQ individuals. “It is a way to show support for people in the LGBTQ community who may themselves be silenced and not be able to express who they truly are due to judgement and fear,” said Landis.
Though Creighton is a Catholic institution, Hostert said the existing Catholic teaching on various LGBTQ issues has not affected Creighton’s ability to have positive relationships with organizations such as the Gender and Sexuality Alliance.
Hostert said they have had “a lot of support” from Creighton’s administration during her time at Creighton, and that the alliance has had a good relationship with campus ministry and other organizations, such as the Creighton Intercultural Center.
“Even though we are different from the other [Creighton Intercultural Center] groups in that we don't all share the same national or cultural identity, they always support us entirely, which makes it that much easier to be a queer organization on a religious campus,” Hostert said of the Creighton Intercultural Center.
Other events the Gender and Sexuality Alliance hosted this past year include the Transgender Day of Remembrance, Ally Day and Jays Out Day.
“Campus Ministry always welcomes us with open arms when we ask to put on our annual Trans Day of Remembrance in lower St. John's,” Hostert said.
Jays Out Day was a new event this year, which Hostert said was “a celebration of the coming out process for LGBT+ individuals.”
“That was by far our largest event that we've hosted in recent years and had by far the best turnout,” she continued. “We're very excited to see what next year brings, as this represented a great step toward positive change.”