Opening up my acceptance letter to Notre Dame was one of the proudest moments of my life. I always wanted to come here. But the violent, hateful comic approved by the staff of The Observer and printed in the Jan. 13 edition represents the complete opposite of what I thought this University stood for. I'm now ashamed to be a Notre Dame student. I can't begin to fathom how hard it is for members of the LGBT community to live at Notre Dame.
Make no mistake, this incident of blatant and violent hatred towards the LGBT community is no freak accident. It is not just the fault of the "Mobile Party" creators, nor the editors of The Observer. It is each and every student's fault. We, as a student body, have supported a culture at Notre Dame in which hateful, homophobic jokes like the one in the "Mobile Party" are acceptable. We are supposed to be a family, a tight-knit community. Each and every one of us has failed miserably.
We might not all be homophobic, and we might not all use derogatory epithets, but we have failed to put an end to homophobia and the use of hurtful, disparaging words. I don't think that the majority of students here are bigots, but I do think that most of us, including myself on many occasions, are pushovers. We hear "fag" and silently think, "Tisk, tisk. What a shame." We owe it to our LGBT brothers and sisters at Notre Dame to take a stand. Call people out when they do use derogatory slurs, no matter how benign they may seem. If we let slurs get thrown around nonchalantly, we will only propagate the idea that it is acceptable to treat members of the LGBT with disrespect.
Finally, to all of the members of the LGBT community, I'm so sorry that we have allowed this to happen. I know countless other students who feel the same way. You're not alone and we love you.