Volume II, Number 3 Front Page
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April 14, 2005

No Support from The Observer

Sascha Rubin

      It seems the reaction to the "gay? fine by me." movement on campus will be one of self-professed apathy. The April 4th issue of The Observer encouraged its readers to support its own quasi-movement—"gay? who cares?"—complete with the signature lowercase lettering. But this childish retort to a genuinely sincere show of support for the GLBT community begs the question: is The Observer truly apathetic?

      Forgive me for asking; normally I would not remark on such a trite feature of the aforementioned paper. But the call to "wear your apathy" smacks both of sarcasm and of hypocrisy. While the first charge can be looked over, the second is more censurable, especially given the nature of the issue.

      Let me explain where I am coming from. Nothing in a publication is printed without the intent of it being read, and the "gay? who cares?" effort is no exception. I find it hard to believe that people must be reminded not to care; that idea is just counterintuitive. The paper's ploy, rather, is to create a counterweight to a movement it does not endorse. It is doing all it can to silence the movement by asking people to practice indifference.

      The paper is obviously not indifferent. By asking their loyal readership, in print, to be apathetic to the "gay? fine by me." movement, The Observer is plainly expressing its objection to the awareness raised by it. It is trying to undermine the loudness of the blue t-shirts, which are being worn in solidarity by students this week, with silence. It is the hope of the paper that this unconcern will 'outnumber' the shirts.

      More importantly, by espousing apathy, the paper apparently does not believe that discrimination against sexual orientation occurs in today's world—or on our campus, no less. Perhaps it doesn't want to believe it. In any case, advocating indifference is a blatant denial of the gay community and the rights which it deserves but does not yet have. The "gay? fine by me." t-shirt campaign, on the other hand, recognizes the stigma that still exists in society, and strives simultaneously to show its tolerance while advocating for inclusion and equality.

      My guess is that The Observer is not oblivious to the controversy and passion surrounding the movement to include "sexual orientation" in Boston College's handbook. Nor is it oblivious—I hope—to the legal inequalities that persist in America regarding the gay community. They are reacting to a movement that is not their own, that they do not believe in and that they wish would just go away. This is evident, even through the thinly veiled cloak of 'apathy' it wears to mask its anxiety. Simply put, The Observer does care—just not about supporting the GLBT community.

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