T O P I C R E V I E W
moonlight bouncing off water
Member # 44338
posted 11-04-2009 03:40 PM
I just wanted to start a thread where users could share their stories and perspectives on their school and GLBTs. For instance, are you out, is it hard to be out, do you get discriminated against?
Member # 3
posted 11-04-2009 05:16 PM
My own experience is actually that I faced more harassment BEFORE I came out than I did afterwards.
Back in jr. high and the year and change I was in public high school in the early-to-mid eighties, I got called a dyke and other epithets before I ever disclosed publicly I wasn't heterosexual, and even before I was ever seen with a same-sex partner in a way that made it obvious we were together. That was based solely on how I dressed, cut my hair, on who my friends were, on my opinions and ideas, on my being one of the kids who focused mostly on the arts, on who I would NOT date (eg: if you won't date a certain guy, you must be a lesbian, right?) and the simple fact that I was a misfit in many respects. Maybe some of it came from people's internal radar, but I honestly doubt it. I had straight friends who were just as harassed and in the same way. Of course, once I was seen with girlfriends, it continued, but I wouldn't say it got worse: my experience is that it was the same, only I felt stronger in handling it once I began to come out. I felt more empowered when I was no longer trying to keep myself a secret. When I did really openly come out, at that point I was in a small arts high school inner-city, and we had as many students who were queer, really, as we did who were straight (same went for our faculty). I never dealt with any harassment or discrimination there that I can recall. That would have been very, very not-okay at our school, and this was well before GSAs and other queer-friendly school initiatives.
moonlight bouncing off water
Member # 44338
posted 11-04-2009 07:07 PM
That would be so fantastic to have a school where just as many there were straight as those who were queer. That is my ideal.
Member # 39222
posted 11-04-2009 07:50 PM
When I was still in high school I went to a school that literally had just opened. My girlfriend (E.) at the time were the first openly gay couple in the school (to the point that only reason the principal knew who I was was because I was dating E.) Actually, although the teachers made a big deal out of E. and I giving each other a quick hug (and blatantly ignoring the straight couple all but making out in the corner), the teachers seemed to completely ingore/forget E. and I were dating even on overnight trips for band and such.
There were a few rude comments over the years, but for the most part if there was negativity it was never to my face or where it got back to me. I did feel bad for the other pair of girls I knew were dating. They actually drew more negative comments, probably because they were sneaking around and trying to hide it as one of the girls likely would have been disowned if her parents had found out from what they told me.
Member # 43159
posted 11-04-2009 08:36 PM
I identified as heterosexual (or "confused") in high school. I was part of the school's GSA, but it was a small group, and we didn't organize very much. I only went to a few meetings. I remember feeling shy and worried about being perceived as a lesbian, even though I considered myself an ally. I think being around my openly gay classmates made me feel a bit uncomfortable because I was trying to come to terms with my own sexual orientation, and I just wasn't sure how to identify. They seemed to really know where they fit, and I just wasn't sure.
After I graduated from high school, a pretty remarkable thing happened. I fell in love (or in lust?) with a girl and came out as queer. then, many, many people in my circle of friends came out of the closet too! It seemed like my "heterosexual" friend circle became queer, almost overnight, because once high school was over everyone felt a lot more comfortable being themselves. It felt really good to not be the only queer person in my circle of friends. I have a lot of respect for those who are "out" in high school. For me, I didn't feel comfortable enough with myself to fully realize my queerness until after I graduated and had some space. Now that I'm in university, I've forged a pretty queer and/or queer-ally friend group, and the atmosphere is much more open.