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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Coming out at boarding school

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Author Topic: Coming out at boarding school
Member # 16531

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Hey guys!!

This is my first message and I might not be able to participate a lot because I have tons of work, especially during winter term, but anyway.

For the first time in my life, I'm attending a boarding school, and I always go to my school's GSA, because it's full of awesome people and always hilarious. Last week we started discussing coming out on campus. Our campus and school is, as far as I know and I've heard, a completely safe environment for GLBT youth, and the rules do include a passage about non-discrimination against someone based on their sexual orientation. We even have same-sex couple as house counsellors for our dorms. But because of campus rules (particularly the fact we have rather complicated room visitations rules for opposite-sex visitors - they can only visit at certain hours, with your house counsellor's authorization, and when the house counsellor is in the dorm ; also admitting you're dating a same-sex person means that person won't be allowed to sleep over in your dorm anymore, unlike same-sex peers usually are), coming out on campus is really not a smart idea.

How should boarding school deal with GLBT students in your opinion? How can they promote honesty, help the students being true to themselves and feeling at home, when coming out implies subjecting yourself to rules that wouldn't apply otherwise? (for example, visiting your girlfriend's dorm anytime for a girl) Should they have a special set of rules for the GLBT students? Should they encourage a "don't ask, don't tell" policy, therefore making it less comfortable for GLBT students but simplyfing the issue by ignoring it? Should they have GLBT students go by everybody's rules, ie not having special visitation or sleeping over rules?

I'd love to hear what you think,

Posts: 7 | From: Andover, MA , USA or France | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
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Member # 5375

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Actually it sounds like your school is handling this very nicely. They've made your campus a safe place and allow openly GLBT partners to be staff. It also sounds like they're enforcing the rules fairly -- no special privileges for anyone.

Imagine if your school allowed heterosexual partners to have sleep-overs but denied that privilege to homosexuals? That would obviously be discrimination and the reverse is no better. So, I laud your school for keeping the rules consistent for everyone.

Can you still easily buck the system? Yes, it sounds like you can, but I agree with what they have in place.

Posts: 3641 | From: Truckee, CA, US | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator

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