Say It Out Loud

Gisselle Larios, Staff Writer

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I am part of the LGBTQIA+ community. Some of you guys out there probably are too. It’s a little scary being squeezed into the significantly numbered heterosexual population; you feel like your own secret. In fact, I was mine until you read the opening sentence. Few may be out already, and that’s great! Kudos for being you unapologetically. There are some of us, though, who haven’t quite found our voice. For that, we need outside support sometimes. Sure, we confide in each other, within the student population, and that’s fine, expected. However, rarely do their own institutions, namely their own high schools, vocalize their support for LGBTQIA+ students.

Plenty of universities have events and weeks and clubs for raising awareness for the community. While visiting CSU Northridge on the 10th of November, I made note of their Trans Awareness Week posters plastered all over campus. While not identifying as transsexual, I was happy for those who are on the Northridge campus. Being accepted by loved ones is a fortune all it’s own, now imagine having them plus your entire campus support you. Of course, that’s not to say high schools are particularly against LGBTQIA+ students (except maybe in Alabama, Arizona, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas, and Utah–but that’s an issue all its own), but it’d be, at least, nice to know our school officially accepts us too. Our counselors are obviously a beloved and continuing source of relief and support to the community, it’s just a question of whether or not the rest of the staff is as accepting as them. After all, we’re with teachers and other faculty 99% of the time.

Instead of staying mum on the subject, schools must vocalize their support for their LGBTQIA+ students. Have an awareness week, heck, at this rate, even a day would be appreciated. Throw in the occasional reminder in morning announcements that if we ever need a ear to listen to us, it’s available. Provide LGBTQIA+ literature for students (and POC LGBTQIA+ literature while we’re at it). Have posters around school supporting our community. There’s so many ways to show support; little things have a great impact. Young people may have each other, but at the end of the day, we’re in the hands of the school faculty. We want those hands to wear their support on their sleeves.

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