Ignorance causes hostility for LGBTQ+ community

Brianna Carmack, Opinions Editor

Coming out can be one of the hardest things a person will do in their lifetime. Whether it’s coming out as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or other types of sexuality, not everyone will be as welcome as they should be.

Unfortunately, a fellow sophomore friend of mine feels that they have been treated unfairly by individuals, some not being students.

According to TheGuardian.com, on average, most people come out when they are in high school. Of course some people come out earlier or even later but I personally think it makes the most sense for teens, more specifically, in high school to come out, because high school is usually when teens figure out who they are. I’m not saying that it is mandatory for you to come out as a teen but I think in this case the research makes sense.

Let’s be honest, teens are ruthless and when you’re coming out, your fellow classmates and friends might turn out to be your worst enemy. Even though most bullying is caused by the students in cases at Manhattan High, I’ve noticed that sometimes teachers will pick at a student or make fun of them.

From my perspective, our nation has mostly diversified some of their viewpoints, such as welcoming in different sexual orientations. But, when I hear an insult about someone not being a perfectly straight human, I get furious, especially when those comments are made by adults.

“I think… when you’re singled out by a teacher or picked on by a teacher, it can make you not want to trust anybody anymore or trust any staff anymore, because those are the people who are supposed to look out for you and protect you,” he said.

Most of the staff at MHS is very supportive of the LGBTQ+ community. In fact, MHS was voted the top LGBTQ+ friendly school in Kansas. But, due to ignorant, closed-minded people, MHS is still not as safe for the LGBTQ+ community as it should be.

My friend came out in the middle of the eighth grade, so before high school, he had already been identified as a male. When starting freshman year, he told me that an email went out for the teachers, so that they made sure to call him “him” and use the correct name.

“…when that email went out for them to call me a different name and use different pronouns instead of what was in the system, most teachers were fine with it, they completely switched over,” he said.

Although most of his teachers were fine with this simple change, some teachers completely disrespected his choice in gender.

“…you know it’s something you expect to hear from students because they are ignorant like they don’t know the ‘power of words,” he said. “They don’t know that kind of thing because, you know we’re in high school, we’re 16, 17 and 18, we’re young.”

To be honest, I think his fellow students and teachers don’t understand how scary it can be to completely switch over to a different gender. From simple tasks, such as using the bathroom to correcting someone when using the wrong pronoun, it’s scary.

“[Transgender people] experience a lot of violence. Like a lot of violence,” he said. “It is scary to just open your mouth around people who, and even if it’s not on purpose for them to use the wrong pronoun, if they say the wrong thing, you could end up saying something that’s wrong to them.”

Over all, when completely switching your sexual orientation, people may not see you as the same person and therefore, can create a hostile environment for those who have chose to come out.

“If you are going through that, you should definitely find somebody who’s trusted or go to your secretaries in the office and go to people who you trust,” he said. “Let them know that it makes you, let them know that it makes you uncomfortable and that it’s something that is really not okay. It needs to be taken care of.”