Night of Noise is an event that follows the Day of Silence, which is an annual day where students across the country vow to take a form of silence to call attention to the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying and harassment in schools. Gathered in mourning, but also in celebration for how far the world has come, and all of the progress being made that is paving the way for acceptance.
This last Friday I attended the night of noise. I have been fortunate enough to for some reason have been immuned to bullying, at least to my face. However, this hasn’t stopped my heart from breaking witnessing the cruelty that my peers suffer every day. I encourage all of you to close your eyes. Now remember back to second or third for fourth grade when the man or woman that you placed your trust in, the man or woman that taught you math and spelling and how to draw– go back to when they stood up at the front of the classroom and informed you that at some point, black people were only considered three-fifths of a person. Do you remember how shocking this was to you? Do you remember what it was like when you realized that for some reason people at one point thought there was some inherent lesserness in person of color? Do you remember being confused? Maybe even angry? I remember being angry. And when I look back, I think of how if that person I had trusted had told me that it was right to discriminate in that way, then my young and malleable mind would have grown up believing it.
Nobody is born racist– just as nobody is born believing that you are less of a person if you are a man who loves men, or if you are a woman who loves women.
During this event I witnessed hugging and dancing and cheering and tears. This was a room full of people happy to be alive, happy to be who they are. A performance of Story of My Life, a song originally by One Direction, told a story of rebirth and inspired the crowd. A small room filled with people who have endured years of hatred and discrimination radiated more love and kindness than any other group of people I have seen. (Besides the guy in the white shirt who was awfully stare-y)
The point of The Night of Noise is to remember just that. That love is love. Nobody is born hateful– and there is a guarantee that your hate is hurting more people than anyone’s homosexuality ever could.
By Sarah De Noyo