Tolerance can be achieved through education


I had the opportunity to attend a Pride Alliance meeting on Nov. 1. I sat down and talked with three students that identified as LGBT. I spoke with three other LGBT students prior to the meeting. After learning about the experiences that these individuals have gone through and sometimes go through every day, I have reached the conclusion that everyone should make an effort to educate themselves on the LGBT community and what it really stands for.

Since I don’t identify as LGBT, and I’m just one person, I can’t speak on behalf of all LGBT people. However, after talking with several students, I have formed my own opinions and views.

One of the things that surprised me the most during our conversation was that in the six cases of students openly identifying as LGBT, they didn’t face as much bullying as I expected. However, they all agree that the school could be better and more tolerant. All but one of the students I talked to feel like school is a more welcoming environment compared to their home. According to the six individuals, experiences involving bullying were almost exclusively fellow students making jokes, teasing and insulting. I believe this is because those students are ignorant and don’t have an understanding of what the LGBT community is.

I spoke with people that ranged from bisexual, pansexual, transgender, agender and queer. One of the individuals said that they didn’t understand why others would get upset about their decision. I think people get upset because they don’t understand how important this is to the person it affects. They also don’t understand the turmoil that one goes through when they don’t know if their peers will accept them for who they are.

I urge everyone to do their own research on different sexual orientations and gender dysphoria, the distress and confusion one feels as a result of the gender they were given at birth. I believe this would create a more tolerant environment for LGBT students at SHS because it would help create a sense of understanding and respect. Maybe someone you know is planning on coming out and could use the support.