The month of April is known for many awesome days like Easter and April Fools, but April is also the month of Autism Awareness. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) refers to a large quantity of conditions of challenge on various skills like social, behavioral, or communication skills. April gives people without Autism some awareness of ASD. Spreading awareness can help in extreme ways such as bringing in monetary donations and starting something special. Things like Kickstarter and GoFundMe are great ways to show support. Autism is a lot more common than people think and 1 in 44 children in the United States have Autism (CDC). Here at Bonneville High School, ASD has affected many students, affecting the way they learn, or communicate, and not enough people are aware of how many students have been affected by ASD.
Many people are very rude or hurtful to individuals with ASD, This only makes things worse for some. Just because someone has a disability does not mean one has the right to make fun of, or hurt emotionally or physically. ADS has affected thousands of people; April just gives people with ADS the appreciation they deserve. Having an awareness month has worked very well for other things like breast cancer awareness. If anyone knows people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, make sure to reach out, and talk to them. Make sure they are in good health and are mentally stable. Since ADS can be a mental disorder, be a little lenient with them. Reaching out and talking is one of the best ways to bring some joy and awareness for ASD. High Schools are an amazing way to show awareness as well, the high school setting can be a very difficult time for people suffering from ASD. High school can be very intimidating for lots of students, which can also be even more intimidating for students with ASD as it can be much harder for them in the environment. Cause and effect is pushing AwarenessAwareness to play big parts in people's lives. April can help hundreds of people and others can too.
Many argue that the LGBTQ+ community does not receive much visibility in society, especially for transgender individuals due to the closure of activities and constant hate given to most of the community. However, on March 31st, it was a day to be reckoned with: Transgender Visibility Day.
This holiday was established in 2009 by Rachel Crandall-Crocker, who wanted to fight back against hate for transgender people. Crandall-Crocker, being transgender herself, stated, "I was waiting and waiting for someone else to do it. And then finally I said, ‘I’m not waiting anymore.'" Transgender communities had nothing to celebrate and the new holiday brought awareness to violence against transgender people.
In 1998, Rita Hester, a Black transgender woman, was brutally stabbed in her own apartment located in Boston. Before this tragic event, many transgender individuals were heavily targeted and when the first annual Transgender Visibility Day came around, they marched through Hester’s neighborhood. Transgender Day of Remembrance (TDOR), a day honoring transgender homicide victims, was born due to this action. Crandall-Crocker, who had lost both a marriage and a job as a psychotherapist when she came out, decided to create the day herself by organizing a Facebook group. March 31 would be Transgender Visibility Day. The date was placed far enough away from TDOR in November and Pride Month in June that it would not conflict with either.
In 2021, the holiday was celebrated heavily because there was less hate for trans people this year. Last year, people attempted to take down the anti-trans bills pending in multiple state legislatures. Most of those bills would have limited transgender youth from playing sports and accessing affirming and affordable medical care. To help prevent this, President Joseph R. Biden Jr passed an act called the Equality Act, which states the following: "The Equality Act will deliver legal protections for LGBTQ+ Americans in our housing, education, public services, and lending systems. It will serve as a lasting legacy to the bravery and fortitude of the LGBTQ+ movement" (The White House). This act prohibits discrimination based on sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity in public accommodations and facilities, education, federal funding, employment, housing, credit, and the jury system—also defining and including sex, sexual orientation, and gender identity among the prohibited categories of discrimination or segregation.
While this day has passed, more help could be contributed to helping the community, such as helping other transgender individual get the respect and care they need; even donating to them to help for surgeries or medication. And most importantly, show support for them as much as you can!
A Month of Fasting
Ramadan is an important time for Islamic people across the world. Similar to many Christians, Islamic culture partakes in the act of fasting. Fasting is when religionists purposely refrain from eating food or drinking water for certain intervals according to their belief. Ramadan's beginning isn't marked by a specific date; it is determined by a moon-sighting committee in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Ramadan starts when the first crescent moon appears after the month of Shaban. Shaban is the eighth month in the Islamic calendar; Ramadan starts in the ninth month. Unlike the Gregorian calendar, the Islamic calendar is based on moon phases to determine the months. When the crescent moon appears in Mecca, Ramadan starts for the rest of the world. Muslims from the United States in 2022 start their fasting on April 1st.
During Ramadan, worshippers do not eat or drink while the sun is visible. They can feast when it is dark: very early in the morning and after the sun sets at night. The event lasts approximately 29-30 days. Before daytime fasting, Muslims will eat a breakfast dish called Suhur, which consists of fruits with lots of water such as watermelon, cucumber, and oranges. Suhur also contains grains, dairy, and other food with lots of carbs and protein to compensate for the lack of energy from not eating during the day. After dusk, Muslims are technically allowed to eat but most usually choose to eat very little. The last meal of the day during Ramadan is called Iftar. This meal mainly consists of fruits, vegetables, and meats. Young children, breastfeeding mothers, and the elderly are the only groups who exclude themselves from participation. This is because these people can be struggling with health, and that can make fasting more difficult.
During Ramadan, Muslims aim to grow spiritually and build stronger relationships with Allah, the Islamic god. They do this by reciting the Quran, the holy Islamic book. Muslims also pray, focus on selflessness, and do not specifically partake in gossip, lying, or fighting. The start of this month-long celebration started in the 7th century. According to Islamic culture, a supposed angel named Gabriel drifted down from above to gift Prophet Muhammad the Qur’an. The time around when this event occurred was eventually given a name: Ramadan. Muslims fast during this time period to celebrate the revelation of their holy book. Muslims have a lot to look forward to after the celebration ends. The first day after Ramadan is called Eid al Fitr. On this day families and friends show gratitude to god after the long month of reflecting. This holiday is a great reminder to Muslims to be grateful for what they have and to share upon the less fortunate. For the rest of the world, being aware of the cultural and spiritual significance of Ramadan can strengthen intersocietal relations.
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