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» Scarleteen Boards: 2000 - 2014 (Archive) » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Sexual Identity » out of the closet...in school

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Author Topic: out of the closet...in school
alaska
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Just the other day, I came across this article at salon.com

"If you flame, you get burned - 'm the gay kid whom the Christian Coalition wants your straight kid to be able to harass at school." by Casey Creel. (the title refers to what we discussed right here).

He not only talks about what it's like to be gay at a catholic boy school and how he deals with his closeted gay teachers, but also why he didn't take a boy to prom - he was threatened by his guidance counselor that his graduation priviledges would be revoked.

So what are your experiences? Are you openly non-straight at school or Uni? If yes, how did people react when you started hinting (or openly announcing) you weren't straight? Were you ever mistreated? Ever got into trouble with school officials? From then on constantly labelled as "Hannah - the lesbian" or "Thomas - the gay guy"?

If not, why did you choose not to come out (yet)?

What kind of reaction would you have wished or are wishing for from the people at school?

Would be fab to hear about your experiences.

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"We must become the change we want to see."
Mahatma Gandhi


Posts: 4526 | From: germany | Registered: Nov 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Gaffer
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I told two students and a teacher at school. I wish I hadn't told the couselor, because, well, I don't think it really did anything and she wanted to ask me questions while ignoring those I asked her. I think one of the students forgot, or ignored it--he hasn't brought it up since.

If any cared to look hard enough it would be less than difficult to infer that I'm not straight. I'm in the GSA (Yay, finally my school has one (although it doesn't really do anything)), I don't have a girlfriend, I comment on how cute Topher Grace is. I think people don't want to see it sometimes. At my school, I know I wouldn't get beaten up were I flagrantly out, but I know too that I would get socially murdered for it.

[This message has been edited by Gaffer (edited 05-19-2001).]


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DrQuack5
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I'm sorta but not really out at school. Personally, I don't feel a need to be out. I'm sure my friends have figured it out, but it doesn't matter. I am who I am. If knowing that I'm gay will change their perspective on me, then I shouldn't be associating with them closely anyway. I mean, if they feel the need for closure, I'll give it to them, but I don't think they care.
I'm also in the GSA at my school. And it seems that I joined at the right time. They're started to sponsor free food (since the meetings are during lunch). But we actually do stuff. Like, awhile ago there were surveys concerning GBLT issues and we tallied them and compiled data, etc.

If I did come out, I think most people wouldn't care. I have quite a rep for myself, anyway, as just being myself.

[This message has been edited by DrQuack5 (edited 05-21-2001).]


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Mophead
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My good friends know, but I don't feel the need to run through the halls going "I'M BISEXUAL!!!" *shrug*

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PoetgirlNY
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At the school I used to go to, everyone pretended to be soooo gay-friendly. It was disgusting. I was the only student in the entire high school who was out although there were tons of queer teachers. I was clearly labeled Yalith-The-Lesbian. It really sucked. I switched schools for tenth grade(for other reasons) and it's so much better. Lots of people are out so it's not even a big deal at all. It's just a part of the school that not everyone is straight and it's just widely accepted. It's actually so accepted that when someone new finds out, they don't feel the need to go and tell everyone I'm queer. So most people have no idea. I think everyone in my grade knows, and a few people from other grades, and all the teachers- teachers at my school gossip like crazy, but no one else really.

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Laughs_Wisely
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I am out at school, and I'm pretty sure no one cares. After all, I just started there. Then again, my one classmate doesn't seem to have gotten it...I talk about my girlfriend a lot, but I think she's pretty sure I'm only referring to a close female friend, not a women who I spend a good deal of my spare time cuddling with, and for whom I'm learning most of the Weight Watchers points plan...
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Rizzo
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In 6th grade, people teased me about being a lesbian, and I found I didn't really care what they thought. So I was reasonably out in middle and high school. But I am a pretty shy person, so I didn't announce it loudly. I told people I trusted, and hinted to the rest. I'm now at university, and I suppose I'm out, except that I don't really know anyone. Being out seems to be waaay less of a big deal in university. Maybe I'm naive, but I can't imagine anything bad happening to me because of it. The worst I've ever gotten is some teasing or rude comments.
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Pixie69
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I'm so glad this topic came up Because recently, it's come to my attention how out I am. I've only gotten positive reactions. It started out with a friend that is bi, we were talking and he asked me and I said yes. And then I was talking to a lesbian who had a crush on my friend, and she asked me if I knew any other non-hetero's and I said 'yeah, me". All my friends know now, most through word of mouth, and then they'll just ask me. With the people I hang out with, a lot of people aren't straight, a lot of people have no idea what they are, and everyone cuddles with everyone so it wasn't a big deal. At first I was nervous abotu so many people knowing, but I haven't had a bad experience yet. Most of the guys just say "hey cool, can I watch?" and I try to give them my *bitch* look (if you've ever seen me you realize it looks more like a pouting child look) and they're like "we're just kidding".

I've never been mistreated, and I've never gotten in trouble with the school (although I don't know how many of my teachers know, I doubt any of them do).

I think it's a good idea to be out - in my case anyway, since I love talking about the people I like, and when people don't know I'm bi I'm shy to talk about the girl's I like. I think having more people out in school will get everyone ready for the real world (as in, not everyone you're around is straight), and since most people were so surprised to find out I was bi, they are probably less hetero-sexist. Another thing - when people find out I'm bi, they're more likely to tell me if they are bi or gay or whatever too, because they know I'll accept them. In fact, today I just found otu a good friend is bi, I used to have a crush on her It would have been cool to know earlier, but she didn't tell me until she found out that I was (just today). So overall, I'd say my experience has been good.

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Lucky1402
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My school is very harsh towards gay people. Gay-biased terms are used frequently to insult people and I've noticed that many of my peers have had anti-gay convorsations. I frequently get into arguements with them about how being gay doesn't make a person bad. I hate being in a school that is so heavily predjudiced against a certain lefestyle. Some of the teachers are even predjudiced- if a student says something ignorant like "I hate f*gs," the teachers just laugh it off. It even hurts my feelings because at least 4 of my friends are openly gay. My friend Zeke especially gets picked on by the lower classmen, even though the people in his grade are ganerally supportive of him.

I find it very encouraging though, that when asked about her sexuality, another friend of mine is open about it, no matter what other people think.

But sadly, if I ever decide that I may be bisexual, I would never tell anyone at my school except maybe my close friends. People are just so cold in my school, that they wouldn't understand.

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*^Lucky^*
Come check out what's goin on in Lucky's mind!

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rambler
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Well I wasn't really out at my school, but I that was all during my "questioning" time... I sort of came out near the end. At some point during junior year I came out to 3 people there: One of my friends, a substitute teacher who was active weekly in the GSA, and the one boy at my school who was out at the time.

I ended up going to a gay/lesbian support group where said substitute teacher was a moderator (or whatever you'd call him...the word is slipping my mind) with that boy and another friend. We were all giddy and I just remember we all kept saying, "Oh my god, gay people!" because my school is SO bad about all of this.

I had 3 gay teachers in my time there...and there were a total of four...all of them I knew about through the GSA. 2 were out, 2 weren't, and there was a lot of whispering about tenure and it was really disturbing to hear them worry about it. As for students, only this one boy was out. There was also another boy who wanted to be out, and had a boyfriend, but it was very complicated by his parents' denial. They even said that he couldn't do theatre anymore because people would think that he was gay and so he had to give up a really good role one year. My town is really disgustingly competative and very conservative. This boy being out would somehow mean disgrace to the family or whatever within my town. It's all really gross and I'm so glad that I'm not there anymore.

The reason I bring up the whole thing with the teachers is that it was really cool to be able to go to at least one of them and talk about this stuff. It was great knowing who I might be able to go to if I wanted to. And I remember that this particular guy was really great for stopping comments like "That's so gay."

One time he came to a GSA meeting and told us that that afternoon he'd heard a kid say, "You're so gay," to one of his friends, and he stopped him and said, "No, he's not, but I am." We were all grinning like idiots at the story ... My school was cool in a lot of ways. The kids were horrible, but the principal and the faculty involved in the GSA were great...

At college I'm not particularly out. My friends know, but there are so many queer people at my school that it's kind of like a fashion statement at this point. I do remember once making a comment about a gay-themed book to two dykes and getting a very incredulous look which was none too nice, though... There's a big stigma everywhere about bisexuality, which I've ranted enough about here. :P


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smittenkitten
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Hey guys,

rambler, I think the word you're after is mediator.

I came out at school by writing a letter to my ex boyfriend explaining my sexuality and other things (we had just broken up). While he was reading it his friends got a hold of it and started telling everyone.

I handled it well (If I do say so myself) and only a few people came up to me and said things like "I'm glad you're proud of who you are, but it's gross". Funnily enough she was with her best friend who is in total denial of his sexuality (my gay friend Annan had sex with him so we knoe he's gay, bi, or bi-curious).

I remember one guy in my year, David, called him (Guy AKA Mr Denial) gay and he went psycho at him.

A few teachers know I'm gay, my Media teacher, my English teacher (I've got a crush on her, even though she's probably almost 40) and I suspect my year coordinater cuz she always looks at me funny and comes up to ask if I'm ok. Anyway, they're all in the same faculty so probably most teachers in english know.

My close friends are very supportive, and I especially enjpy going to movies to drool on women with male friends. My boyfriend loves my sexuality. Guys and the possibility of having two women at once, go figure.

Anyway, I better go,
Smile :0)
Winnie.

P.S. Thanks heaps to Hanne for the subscription to Sojourner, the copies, and interviewing me :0)

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Dzuunmod
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I'm not really out, because I'm in university and frankly, the topic never really comes up. I did however appear on the front page of the last queer issue (it's an annual thing) of one of my school's newspapers. Eight people were on it, and they held signs with a few words on them to describe their sexuality. My sign said 'likes feeling pretty'.

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Meltigem
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I'm out, I'm pretty sure.

I have a large safetynet of friends I'm supported by... and all of them are either lesbians or bisexuals anyhow! I'm the only one that has a girlfriend though... and we're not afraid to be open about anything.

At the start of the relationship, we wanted to keep it a secret. With time though, we just got frustrated and decided to not hide it anymore. There's SO many straight couples who hold hands and kiss in the hallways... why couldn't we do the same? We never really did start doing that though... i guess her nerves got to her.

It seems that we're the only openly homosexual couple at school, even though I do know of one closeted one. A lot of people feel comfortable around us, I guess closeted gays. There's been a few sour people about it... and we just enjoy the way they stare at us very strangely.

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Is just to see each other through it.

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CuriouS GeorgE
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Well, I told a few CLOSE friends that I'm bi, but I still think that you go to school to LEARN. Not get made fun, not to make fun of others, not to goof around and skip class, but to "expan your knowledge horizons." {So to speak }

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with coming out at school and maybe some of your schools are more open with it than mine, but I mean it shouldn't be a big issue or anything. Of course you don't only go to school to learn, you go to meet friends and get involved in extra-curricular activities, but if coming out is going to NEGATIVELY effect any of these things, then why even bother? If you're comfortable with it, and those who are close to you are comfortable with it, then why does the whole world have to know? I think it's a personal thing that doesn't need to be broadcasted to the whole world.

I don't feel the need to tell everyone for these reasons and I know that I would get made fun of. I've already gotten made fun of because of my clit ring because apparently, I'm "horny all the time" and I probably "masturbate all day." I don't care if people are going to make fun of me, because I think that's THE most immature thing in the world. To riddicule people based on how they live their lives, skin colour, religion, sexual orientation or how much money a person has. It's also not that I'm ashamed of it, I just feel that people that don't know me, don't need to know, because that's where negative judging comes into play.

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CuRioUs GeoRGe

-Love is an irrisistable desire to be irrisistably desired.
-Robert Frost


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CuriouS GeorgE
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My reply is basically directed towards the original topic. I never really thought about this until just now.

I go to a Catholic high school with uniforms and obviously there ARE some gay/les/bi people at my school who either haven't come out, or just told their close friends (like me.) Anyways, last year when I was in grade 9, my CHAPLAIN (of those of you who don't know, he's the man who conducts our monthly masses, says prayers on the announcements and stuff like that) actually encouraged people to talk to him about WHATEVER!! (Even their sexuality) His name was Mr. Gasparini and EVERYONE loved him - even the EVER so skeptical OAC guys. (Grade 13) We used to call him The Gasper. So anyways, he was TOTALLY cool with people going to a Catholic school and having whatever sexual orientation! I was surprised to say the least. He didn't care, he was alright with everything. Everyone talked to him, no matter what kind of problem they had and wouldn't condemn them, he would even offer any advice that he could. He moved away this year but we still remember him! Anyways, I just wanted to point out that not all Catholic schools/people condemn and threaten people of different sexual orientation, so don't feel discouraged!!!

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CuRioUs GeoRGe

Love is an irrisistable desire to be irrisistably desired.
-Robert Frost


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DrQuack5
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Meltigem - that's so cool that you and your girlfriend don't really care anymore. It was pretty much the same with me. When we first started going out, we were very secretive about us in school but then time wore on and we were just like "Ah, who cares, anyway?" But we never did the whole make out during passing time bit (which is extremely disgrossting and annoying since they always seem to find the most crowded area. Bah.) or we don't hold hands or anything, but we do have slightly more intimate and extended hugs and just standing outrageously close (although I invader peoples personal place all the time and my girlfriend has to remind me not to). Well, typing that out just made the think that we're more friends in school that girlfriend and girlfriend ... meh.
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velocette
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revelationAhh. On Friday, I turned in an essay to my Christology teacher (Catholic school... yippie). The topic had to be about one person/event/thing that really impacted your life. I wrote about my "revelation" about my bisexuality.

But now my stomach is in knots. My teacher said that he would be the only one to read the essays... and that he would not share them with anyone unless totally nessacary (ex: abuse in the home), but I hope he doesn't think that me not being heterosexual is something to discuss with my counselor.

Before starting grade 10, I thought I would be able to come out somewhat to the school. But after being in there for about 3 weeks I realized that I am not ready for it yet. I was astounded by how many of my friends still use "gay" as an insult. Every more directly, I was disappointed to find out how homophobic they were. In a recent issue of Teen People, it has a picture of two girls kissing on the lips, and one of my friends responded "Eew, I don't need to see that." Then, with a different person, somehow the topic of Sailor Moon arose (don't ask me how )... and I asked her if they still made new episodes, in which she responded "I don't know. I stopped watching it after I found out that some of them were gay." Great, that makes me feel like a million bucks.

This is not the greatest feeling to come back to Scarleteen with

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[This message has been edited by velocette (edited 09-16-2001).]


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CupcakePrincess
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quote:
Originally posted by gillians_gal:
My boyfriend loves my sexuality. Guys and the possibility of having two women at once, go figure.


see your lucky, My boyfriend hates the fact that Im Bi, Im Not allowed to coment about other Women, He Gets Upset if I glance at a hot Girl at the mall. He Hates it when I pay attention to any girl. Its fustrates me. I love my Boyfriend To death, But, Thats the one thing That bugs me More than ANYTHING. im not allowed to be myself around him. And I havent Really ocme out all that much Yet,so I cant really do it with Anyone. oh Well. Im just rambling.

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When You think your life Is Horrible, ask Me about Mine... It will change your Mind.

~*~*Jen*~*~


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Hillary
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I go to an all girls uniform school where a lot of people are either bisexual or gay... I am out to most of my friends, and my family. I was on the school's gymnastics team, and I didn't make it a secret that I was attracted to girls. At the time, I was head over heels for my friend, and I was all over her, ALL THE TIME. I flirted with her constantly. And I didn't even stop when people came to visit with the gymnastics team, lol. SO, a lot of people in my grade have guessed, a lot have asked me about it, which i blatantly refused to answer because a certain group of them were homophobic. I am starting in 9th grade in one month (oh my gosh, how summer has flown!), and I guess I plan to be a lot more open, and not lie when asked... I guess I was just nervous last year. But I have a group of friends who support me completely, and with such backing, i guess i feel more ready to come out of the closet to my school. I guess last year's hesitation was that news i my school travels pretty fast, and I didn't want my sister to pick up on it. She guessed, anyways, and I came out to her, so now it won't be a big deal.
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SerenD
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I just graduated from a small-town public school. I was never "out" in that I told anyone other than my exchange student and my "best friend." However, I wasn't ever really close about it either. For instance, I had no qualms about danging with other girls at the school dances. And my firends and I always sit on each other, and I used to kiss my "best friend" regularly, even if we really and truly weren't girlfriends. She and I also used to joke aobut being lovers, and I'm pretty sure that a few people thought that it was true. The strange thing is that she was (and still is, I guess) straight. Which made it odd for me. I almost went with a girl to prom, but that got badly screwed up. Bad situation. There were several gay guys who were out. My good guy friend was one of them. There was some teasing, but most people didn't really care. The worst ridicule I ever got was strange looks while I was grinding with my "best friend" at a cast party. Then again, those girls gave me strange looks no matter what I was doing.
I have a reputation for being a bit... odd.
I plan on being out in college. Just to see what it's like. My guess is that no one will really care at all.

~me~


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