To the Editor,

Silence and fear surround gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. Employees fear for their jobs, sons and daughters fear rejection by their families, students fear discrimination by peers and teachers, friends fear the loss of their relationships, the faithful fear condemnation from their religious leaders and fellows. Statistics and stories justify the fear and silence. About sixty percent of GLBTQ students feel unsafe at school. At least one in four GLBTQ youth are rejected by their families when they come out, and they are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Nobody should live in fear, nobody should have to remain silent about their feelings while hateful rhetoric surrounds them, nobody should feel alone. Members of the GLBTQ community and their allies have written chalk messages on the campus to remind us of a few things. No matter who you are, you are not alone. You are loved. You are a human being. Your voice deserves to be heard. You are supported. As Monday starts National Coming Out Week, which culminates in National Coming Out Day on the 11th, it’s time to break the silence. It’s time for us to put aside our differences and unite around, at the very least, our shared humanity and our values which transcend all faiths: love, tolerance, and charity.

And so, I hope that everybody will come out this year, especially the allies to our GLBTQ friends and family. We need to continue to break the silence, calling out negative language and making known our feelings so that when people feel downtrodden, they know that they are not alone and that they have somebody to turn to. It is our sincere hope that this first annual nationwide You-Are-Loved chalk message project, originally started five years ago on the campus of Drew University, will be the first step in breaking down barriers, building up communities, and opening hearts and minds around these critical issues.

Howard Watts III,
Political Science


To the Editor,

I am not a regular reader of The Rebel Yell, but the first issue I happened to pick up was today in my English class. My professor was passing around a copy of your newspaper, and puzzled, I examined the paper, waiting for an explanation as to why we were reviewing it. That’s when the women in my English class took off on a heated rant about The Burger Grind Bar and Lounge advertisement placed on the back of your newspaper.

This advertisement is going to draw on a woman as if she were a cow, implying she is to be eaten and shit out moments later, and not expect people to be angry? It REALLY disappoints me that society thinks of women in such a disgusting and disrespectful manner, and for the Rebel Yell to support this gross misconception of a women’s worth disappoints me even more. I cannot believe my own school is going to put these labels on me as a woman. I thought college was supposed to be a positive aspect to further my personality, knowledge, and experiences.

Now it would be unfair for me to say that freedom of speech does not exist and that the Rebel Yell has no right to express their own opinions, but I think this advertisement will go as far as making a huge impact on the female population at UNLV. I, for one, will never purchase a copy of your newspaper as long as I go here, and I will inform as many people as I can about this ridiculous advertisement.

This is not a petty subject, and I really hope people will not be so ignorant as to dismiss this matter completely. If we want to change the way women are perceived we have to start with problems such as these. Thank you for your time, and I hope you can find it in yourself to understand this concern!

Alicia (Allie) Podhaisky,

NOTE: Letters to the editor run unedited.

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