Expressing her support for the gay, lesbian and transgender (LGBT) community, Congresswoman Lois Capps spoke to House representatives yesterday to commemorate this year’s National Day of Silence to the death of Lawrence King, the 15-year-old Oxnard student who was shot at E.O. Green School on February 12 and died on February 15. Since King was gay and it appears that his sexuality prompted his murder, prosecutors have been treating the case as a hate crime. Capps’ district includes both Santa Barbara and Oxnard.
“I rise today in recognition of the National Day of Silence,” said Capps in a written statement. “On April 25th, hundreds of thousands of students around our country will observe a day of silence in memory of Lawrence King.”
The Day of Silence, held this Friday, recognizes the violent anti-gay hate crimes committed throughout the United States. Often, participants will not speak on this day in an effort to symbolize what they perceive as the silenced emotions, thoughts and fears of thousands of homosexual and transgender individuals.
During his life, King enjoyed drawing, studying bugs, singing, and crocheting despite the incessant anti-gay harassment of his peers. In the end, it was a 14-year-old classmate who shot him in the head. Capps reminded the House that King’s violent death was a harsh reminder of the numerous anti-gay hate acts that go unnoticed.
“Larry’s death is incredibly tragic. It is also a sad reminder that pleas for help- from our young lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender population-are often met with silence,” said Capps. “I commend the courage of every student participating in the Day of Silence. I know that your efforts will bring much needed attention to the plight that students like Larry face every single day.”
Capps is not the only person to speak about King on National Day of Silence. CNN personality Larry King, noting that he shares his name with the slain student, has recorded a public service announcement in which he shares his views on the matter.