Pride in Pride

How represented do the LGBTQ+ students at SHS feel?


Rin Diki

Juniors Nat Noel, Grayson Meece and Freshmen Fletcher Wisdom are apart of the LGBTQ+ community. They share common beliefs when it comes to LGBTQ+ representation.

School environments can provide both a positive and negative impact on LGBTQ+ students. As social movements have progressed, SHS has been making efforts to provide a more welcoming and accepting environment for members of the community.
However, despite the school’s efforts to be more LGBTQ-friendly, there are differing opinions from students about how well-represented they actually feel at school.
“I don’t really feel represented,” Junior Grayson Meece said. “There’s no real representation of us. It’s just sports, no one cares about us.”
Meece feels as though the school does not provide the same level of attention to LGBTQ+ students as other organizations and clubs throughout the school. He believes that the school can better accommodate to members by providing gender neutral bathrooms for non-binary individuals.
Of the students interviewed, most of them agreed that they don’t feel restricted expressing their identities and sexualities, but do receive a lot of judgmental stares and comments because of it.
This was no exception for freshman Fletcher Wisdom. When he initially came out as bisexual in middle school, he received a lot of passive aggressive comments and harassment about his sexuality.
“It sucks and it makes you feel like less of a human,” Wisdom said.
But there are also many allies within the school, both teachers and other students, who provide support for LGBTQ+ students. These allies can make all the difference to creating a safe space to allow members to feel accepted.
“My theater teacher, Mrs. Roberts, does a good job making us feel welcomed by respecting our pronouns and gender identities,” Meece said. “It really warms my heart that we have teachers like that.”
In addition, clubs like Pride Alliance Club, led by sponsor Timothy Case, have also allowed members to connect with other members and allies.
“I want a safe place where kids can express themselves without any judgment, and where they can remain anonymous if they choose,” Case said.
School life consists of a mix of good and bad experiences for most LGBTQ+ students. With the collective support of allies, students and teachers, SHS can become an environment that allows members to progress with their identity as they move through high school.
This was the case for junior Nat Noel who came out as bisexual in 8th grade, then recently became non-binary over the summer. Although they are still getting used to being non-binary, they feel widely accepted and have even made friends throughout their journey.
“I feel like I changed into more me. I feel like I changed for the better, for me,” Noel said.

Junior Grayson Meece held a photoshoot in June at Freedom Park. He wanted an “iconic, trashy, bougie yet elegant” photoshoot that captured his confidence. (Photo contributed by Grayson Meece)