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USU students lead silent, peaceful march to show support for LGBTQ community

A group of about 100 people, holding signs supporting the silent march, took a photo sitting on the steps of USU's Old Main building.
Anna Johnson
The crowd congregates on the steps of Old Main after the silent march concludes.

As the group of about 100 students and community members marched at Utah State University on Friday, April 8, footsteps were the only sound.

The assembled crowd was asked to take a vow of silence during the march to remember the lives of those LGBTQ individuals who had gone before them and those who are still fighting to protect their rights.

Analia Evans, the Gender and Sexuality Intern with the University’s Inclusion Center helped organize the event. She says the march gave a voice to a silenced community.

“We are marching against the violence that queer students, queer individuals face, and specifically the silence that we are forced to take on. We're sick and tired of being silenced. We’re not going to be silenced anymore. It's our time to take the microphone and put the attention on us and to let our voices be heard,” Evans said.

Following the march, members of USU’s Queer Student Alliance and other event organizers spoke about their own experiences and invited the crowd up to share their stories.

“Today we are breaking the silence and taking our power back,” Cole Lancaster said. He is the Vice President of the Queer Student Alliance at USU.

“A lot of us who are out and have accepting friends and support systems have the privilege to walk around campus happy and to be ourselves but a lot of people don’t have that privilege… it's important that we're out and proud making sure that we're standing up for those people who are still in the closet and still aren’t able to be who they are,” Lancaster said, “We’re queer, we’re here, and we will be heard!”

While much of Utah remains divided on LGBTQ issues, this community around Utah State University has found its strength, together.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.