Chicago breaks the silence with Night of Noise rally

Sat. April 18, 2015 1:13 PM by News Staff

Night of Noise Rally at the Thompson Center featured Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine, James Panther and Congressman Mike Quigley

Chicago, IL - Hundreds of Gay/Straight Alliance (GSA) students from schools across Chicago gathered Friday to conclude the Day of Silence, which protests the bullying of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, and allied (LGBTQA) youth, as the Illinois Safe Schools Alliance hosted their annual Night of Noise rally in downtown Chicago.

James Panther, a Portland-based artist recently named an artist to watch by Out magazine, performed his song "Desirable" and Chicago indie band Mister E. Machine debuted their music video titled "Rosa Marie," which is appropriately an anti-bullying anthem inspired by front man Manny Capozzi's older sister, who helped him through the bullying he faced as a student.

"With the song's uplifting message, we all thought it would be a great tool to use while rallying young people for the day of silence," Lawrence Carter, Youth Engagement Manager at the Illinois Safe School Alliance, told "We were able to get the song out and have Gay Straight Alliances use the song and its message to help organize their Day Of Silence activities."

U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley (D-Ill), a known LGBT rights supporter, shared an inspirational message with the youth gathered on the plaza of the Thompson Center.

"You matter. We are proud of you," said Rep. Quigley, who also spoke on the importance of #BornPerfect, a nationwide campaign that was started by the National Center for Lesbian Rights to ban conversion therapy.

Rep. Quigley also posted on Facebook, "Adolescence isn't easy for anyone. But for our LGBT youth, the stories and statistics are daunting. Negative attitudes towards them puts these youth at increased risk for experiences with violence, compared with other students. They are also at increased risk for suicidal thoughts and behaviors. This must stop. That's why I'm proud to attend Illinois Safe Schools Alliance 'Night of Noise,' breaking the silence these kids face on a daily basis."

The Night of Noise event also featured a resource fair with a selection of community partners designed to provide young people with the resources available to them, including Northwestern University's Impact program. The rally finished off with a DJ Dance Party set.

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