Pride Alliance Statement on Gryboski Article
Submitted by Alex Gant, co-chair of Pride Alliance
One of the main concerns that we have is that the Broadside actually allowed for the article to be printed. We cannot understand why someone would write an article that attacks an organization on this campus and that the Broadside, which is a part of the face of George Mason, would put it in the press. Even though the article was an opinion piece, it still represents Broadside in a way, and the campus community as a whole, and we hope that our reputation as a diverse and accepting university has not been tarnished by this piece. We feel that there is a thick line between free speech and hate speech and we hope that the Broadside will be more sensitive to the hate speech that they allow to be published in their papers.
Another concern we have is that someone would feel as though Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals, Transgender, and Queer people are not a valid minority in society. There is nothing wrong with someone being against a particular organization, but to take out their anger in a way that brings up incorrect information and labels them as facts is foolish and ignorant. The article also brings up issues from 30 years ago that have since been dismissed and actually overturned on several different occasions.
What the Pride Alliance is planning on doing about this article is to educate people about the truth of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer community and how the individuals in our community do not have any more disabilities, disorders, or addictions as the article brings up, than anyone else in society. We do not appreciate the use of disability negative language that insults and denigrates the serious reality of mental illness. Mental illness doesn’t define a person, nor does it make somebody less of a person. We want to educate people without use of violence. We hope to foster discussion with other organizations and groups of individuals to discuss the issue further.
The Pride Alliance has already spoken to several groups on and off campus who wish to do something about the lack of responsibility taken by both the author of the article and the Broadside. Many offices on campus have spoken with Pride Alliance through telephone calls, emails, and individual face-to-face interactions letting them know how angry they are that both Mr. Gryboski wrote the article, and that once again the Broadside would print another one of his incredibly hateful editorials.
Our organization has written an article to the Broadside, which we hope will be in the upcoming paper, which will educate people and illustrate the morals and the goal of Pride Alliance. The article written by Mr. Gryboski painted a portrait of Pride Alliance in a negative light. We want to make sure that people are aware of the truth and how the goals of Pride Alliance include inviting all people of all identities to attend. We are an organization that does a lot of collaborations with others and tries to promote integrity and excellence as much as anyone else on this campus.
As far as future action is concerned, we are aware that there will be a group of individuals, not organized by Pride Alliance, who will be in the North Plaza between 11am and 2pm tomorrow participating in a sit-out educating people about the issue. We also hope to collaborate with other groups and individuals, possibly the Muslim and the African American communities, who have also been targets of hate speech by Mr. Gryboski, to foster a more direct response to the tragic nature of his articles.