CHS Students Strive for Acceptance

CHS Students Strive for Acceptance

By Ilana Berger, Staff Writer

Last week, while attending an event at CHS, I witnessed an upsetting public display of homophobia. This display took the form of a plethora of what I thought were offensive and insensitive jokes about homosexuals.

Ironically, the event was supposed to celebrate camaraderie, but I am not sure how it also became an indictment of homosexuals.

I think that, perhaps, the students making these ignorant comments thought they were being funny.  And, in fact, almost every single person at the event was laughing at these comments, and no one spoke up —including me.

This has weighed on me all week.  I am disappointed in myself for being silent that night, because silence implies acquiescence. Speaking derogatorily about any group is a form of bullying. Even when the speech is not directed specifically at one person, it creates a hostile environment for many. If we want to end homophobia and other forms of prejudice at CHS, we must be outspoken about preventing it.

What people do not seem to realize is that joking about homosexuality as if it is an insult, or going along with these jokes, is homophobia.

Just because one claims to be pro marriage equality does not mean it is okay for that person to throw around offensive terms. It is not a tradeoff.

There is no such thing as semi-tolerance. There is tolerance and intolerance, and the choice is ours to make.

If you hear someone using disparaging language about another person or group of people, tell that person to stop. Next time, I know I will. CHS must match its academic excellence with universal respect and acceptance.