Editor, Daily Nexus,

I am writing to the Nexus in response to several acts of homophobia that occurred around the UCen during and after the queer pride rally. Although people may not understand the importance of having events like Queer Pride Week at UCSB, the protest of one religious individual, as well as homophobic slang such as “queer shame” and “sin” written on the sidewalks in front of the UCen, made evident the reality of homophobia in the mind-set of others.

Queer Pride Week is supposed to empower people about their identities. As demonstrated today, even when people come together in support of the spectrum of diversity within the queer community, one ignorant individual can destroy all their efforts. It was disappointing to me that, while the pride rally was going on, more people seemed interested in arguing with this individual about his fundamentalist ideas than contributing to the events of Pride Week. People need to recognize that homophobia is a struggle people deal with on a daily basis. It may be amusing to some to ridicule a person preaching the Bible at UCSB, but his protest should provide more of a reason for people to come to the workshops or other pride events this week.

As one of the speakers explained yesterday at the rally, queer issues shouldn’t only be visible and a priority when homophobia results in the death of an individual. Actively combating homophobia will require student government, our UCSB media sources such as the Nexus and all students of UCSB to recognize the importance of the efforts of organizers like Queer Student Union.