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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » LGBTQA Relationships » Only lesbian in a Republican school

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Author Topic: Only lesbian in a Republican school
steelshark
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I go to an extremely conservative private high school with just around 1000 students in the entire school. To my knowledge, there are no openly homosexual (or any orientation other than straight and cisgender) students in the entire school. In the past, I have been very open about my sexuality, but that is not the case here. Going to this school has forced me to reenter the closet.

I want to be openly lesbian to my classmates, but I'm afraid of how I'll be treated. There is no GSA or other LGBTQ support group in the school, and I'm not comfortable with talking to my small group of friends or going to them for support, since I'm not even out to them due to their right-wing views.

Being forced this far back into the closet is a terrible feeling, and it has negatively affected me greatly. I'd really like some advice as to what I should do.

Posts: 5 | From: Milwaukee, WI | Registered: Jul 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Sans
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I'm so sorry that you're stuck in such an unsupportive environment, steelshark. That is truly awful to have to go through.

I'm wondering if you'd be interested in starting a GSA or LGBTQ support group in the school? It is possible that there are students in your school who feel the same way as you do, but are afraid to speak up due to the same reasons that you mentioned. However, I would not recommend this option if you feel unsafe or if there is a potential for you to be targeted by malicious homophobic people. Your safety is number 1.

Is there anti-LGBTQ bullying or harrassment going on in the school? How do the teachers stand on the issue? Do they turn their backs when students make homophobic comments? Can you count on the teachers, your guidance counsellor, social worker, and/or the principal to be supportive of you?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steelshark
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The school has an extremely strict no-bullying policy (one instance of bullying results in suspension, more than that has severe consequences), and the lack of openly LGBTQ students means that there is no LGBTQ bullying, because there are no such students to target.
The teachers don't tolerate homophobic comments, and some are more right/left-wing than the others. Some are more supportive than others. The principal herself is generally a supporter of LGBTQ rights.

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Sans
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I'm glad that your school has a extremely strict non-bullying policy, and that your teachers do not tolerate homophobic comments. That is good. Many schools turn a blind eye to these issues.

Let me ask you this: what kind of support do you think you need in order to cope with attending a school which is really conservative and which lacks supportive systems for LGBTQ students? It sounds like the environment is having a negative impact on you in terms of repressing your ability to fully act as and your means of expressing your sexual identity.

Again, do you think that you'd be interested in starting up a GSA or a LGBTQ support group?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steelshark
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I usually rely on the support of my peers, and I have about two people that are very close to me and that I am out to. I don't know how my other friends, being slightly conservative, would react to me coming out to them.
I would be interested in starting a GSA, but I fear that it would be largely ignored or mocked.

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Sans
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I understand. And your fears are definitely not unjustified.

But is there are teacher/guidance counselor/social worker/administrative staff that you would feel comfortable proposing your idea of starting up a GSA to, and who would be supportive of you? Would you also feel comfortable talking to, say, a teacher/guidance counselor about the difficulties that you're having in terms of re-entering the closet?

Do your two close friends go to the same school? Would they be interested in helping/supporting you in terms of starting up a GSA?

I understand your trepidation regarding coming out to your conservative friends. To help you in deciding whether or not to come out, you can weigh the pros and cons of doing so. In the worst case scenario, they might react in a way that is homophobic. Would you be able to handle dealing with potentially unsupportive reactions? Would such responses compromise your safety/sense of well-being? However, would it be worth risking all that to be open with your sexual identity, to be able to be yourself and not have to remain closeted?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

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MusicNerd
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You know, just because your friends are conservative doesn't necessarily guarantee that they'd be unaccepting of your sexual orientation. I actually have some conservative friends who are totally cool with, and supportive of, LGBTQ people and issues; I also know some liberals who are not supportive of LGBTQ issues nor do they care for any of us LGBTQ people out there. Of course I know liberals who are pro-LGBTQ and conservatives who are anti-LGBTQ, but my point is: maybe you could see which of your friends seems supportive of LGBTQ issues and which of your friends seems homophobic or less comfortable with LGBTQ issues/people. You never know. People also knowing that their loved ones or friends are LGBT can possibly change their perspectives for the better to become at least tolerable (though I'm not saying that you should come out if you feel like your safety's in jeopardy, as Sans mentioned earlier).

I know I've told this story on several other parts of the forum, but my dad used to be very homophobic when I was little, even though he was (and still is) a liberal. After he saw that I was making friends who were LGBTQ at my middle and high school, he realized that they weren't so bad after all. I came out as bi to him about a month ago (along with my mom, who's been known in our household for being chill with LGBTQ issues/people), and my dad was really supportive of me and now he definitely is okay with LGBTQ issues/people considering that his daughter is a part of the community.

I agree with Sans in that I too see where your trepidation is coming from in coming out to your conservative friends considering that the conservative party as a whole isn't exactly known for its LGBTQ-friendliness (though there are exceptions as I listed earlier and Cindy McCain is another conservative exception); I haven't even come out to any of my friends from high school who are liberals, except I did come out to one of my best friends. Have you heard anyone in your group of friends or your school speak in even a relatively positive way about LGBTQ people or issues or anything?

[ 08-01-2012, 08:52 PM: Message edited by: MusicNerd ]

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"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." ~Dr. Seuss

Posts: 269 | From: a galaxy far, far away... | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
steelshark
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In response to Sans: Yes, both of the two go to the same school as I do, though only one of them would probably be interested in starting a GSA. I'm not sure how I'd react to unsupportive responses, though it is unlikely that such responses would compromise my safety.

In response to MusicNerd: LGBTQ issues are rarely discussed among my friends or at my school. Most of my small group of friends seem to be supportive of LGBTQ people/issues, and several of the people in my homeroom at least appear to be supportive.

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Sans
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I'm glad that you feel that unsupportive responses would not compromise your safety.

How about this: do you think that it'll be a good idea for you to bring up the idea of starting a GSA to your group of friends? This could potentially be, firstly, an indirect way to see whether or not they are supportive of LGBTQ people/issues, secondly, a way to have some peer support by you if/when you do decide to start a GSA, and thirdly, potentially helpful for you in deciding whether you feel comfortable coming out to them or not. If you like, you can mention it casually, in passing. Like this: "Hey, you guys, there doesn't seem to be a GSA in this school. Maybe we could start one?"

What do you think? Would that be a practical approach?

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"Sneak away, sneak away / If the fate is too sad / You are not a flower of hell / That kind of place... / Don't become lost, don't become lost... / Or you won't be able to grasp the entangled hand / The cry also has a limit...." - Naraku no Hana

Posts: 537 | From: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Dec 2011  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MusicNerd
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Hey steelshark! I just wanted to check on you and see how you were doing. [Smile]

Like Sans said, would it be practical to casually bring up the prospect of a GSA club to your friends/school?

Posts: 269 | From: a galaxy far, far away... | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

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