Stand up for what you believe in, even if it goes against the current status quo.

Freedom for Whom?

What does the Bill of Rights mean by “Freedom of Speech?” Does it mean Freedom of Speech for the wealthy? Does it mean Freedom of Speech for the poor? Does it mean Freedom of Speech for minority groups? Does it mean Freedom of Speech only for people who have the same ideologies as the President?

I am going through a situation at work right now. Yes, it deals with MY Freedom of Speech.

I am a Resident Advisor as my University. I am on a staff of ten other undergraduate students, and my direct supervisor is a graduate student.

He is gay, a drag queen, and a strong promoter of gay rights and same-sex marriage.

At RA training at the beginning of this academic year, one of the stressing points is that as RAs, we are not allowed to discuss our own personal religious or political views because we don’t want to ostracize the residents of the building. And let me tell y’all, this point is driven hard.

Perhaps naïvely, I assumed that this rule applied to my supervisor… I severely mistaken.

My supervisor has discussed his political views with us during our staff meetings. He has told us that we should support gay marriage and the gay community. He has pressured us into attending protests against marriage bills that would define marriage as a union between one man and one woman. He has passed around his fake breasts during staff meetings to show us his drag costumes.

As I’m sure you can imagine, our staff meetings can be pretty uncomfortable, especially for an individual who does not find this behavior appropriate or professional or acceptable in a professional setting.

My supervisor will be planning a Drag Show in March to protest the marriage bill and promote “diversity.” He also expects us RAs to help him with his drag program.

As the conservative and Catholic student that I am, in my heart of hearts, I cannot bring myself to do the drag show. It is too much of a political statement, and I just do not want to be involved in anything of the sorts. Naturally, I had to bring this up to my supervisor and he was “understanding,” telling me that if I wanted to engage in further conversation about my religious and political values that he would be more than willing to listen and discuss them with me. Uh huh… I was also informed that I would be expected to put on an extra program of my own. It would be a large-scale program… a program that normally five RAs put on together. He expects me to put it on by myself.

I don’t think I’m being irrational, but this is how I am feeling:

1) like I’m being punished because I don’t share his political ideologies and do not want to participate in his drag show.

2) like I’m being discriminated against because I don’t want to participate in his drag show.

He is trying to silence me. He is trying to take away my Freedom of Speech. He is punishing me by placing an immense workload onto me.

Freedom of Speech is meant only for those who support gay marriage and gay rights.

But fine… My supervisor wants me to put on a large-scale program? Then a large scale program is what he shall receive…

The super scary part about my situation is that I don’t believe that I am the only college student or conservative person being shut down and silenced because I don’t believe in gay marriage or support liberal ideologies. We all need to take back our Freedom of Speech. The anti-federalists fought so hard to get the Bill of Rights included in the Constitution. No one has the right to take away the rights endowed to us in those 10 Amendments.

~Lucy

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