Whiteland accommodates the local LGBT community

By Jaelin Engle
Feature Editor

Many members of the LGBTQ community unfortunately face discrimination through negative comments or lack of respect.

According to rochester.edu, these obstacles tend to cause many people to “stay in the closet” because of their fear of what others will think and how they’ll be judged, especially in their school environment.

Depending on the type of friends and or people in one’s everyday environment, people can have a positive or negative experience when at school.

WCHS sophomore Nathaniel Gavid explained what it was like to come out as gay, nothing his disappointment with others’ reactions to what was a simple fact.

“I wanted people to just be like, ‘Okay, cool,’ and move on with their lives, but it turned out different because people would make a big deal or like tell everyone. That made me nervous and mad because it’s my life let me tell others…like yeah, I’m gay, no need to talk about it for hours,” Gavid said.

According to rochester.edu, change is known to be very difficult for most, especially when it concerns something like sexuality.

WCHS junior Daniel Parks went into detail about what it was like when he came out as a transgender individual.

Parks offered advice for those in similar situations.

“It might be hard at first. Depending on your family and environment in general, it may even be dangerous to come out,” Parks said. “If you’re lucky, however, like I was, you’ll have at least one person and at least one friend who will support you.”

WCHS counselor and member of the Gay Straight Alliance Shannon Fritz discussed school expectations concerning members of the LGBTQ community.

“Teachers would be expected to treat LGBTQ students the same as their straight counterparts. Teachers would be expected to be observant and vigilant for all types of bullying, including those that might target LGBTQ students,” Fritz said.

A supportive environment can make all the difference for students wanting to feel accepted. Parks said he had a good experience with the staff and faculty of WCHS once he came out as transgendered.

“The staff and faculty are all very nice, supportive, and caring. I always feel like I have someone to go to,” Parks said.

It may seem like an impossible task to come out, but support systems can make it possible.

Many members in the community are very accepting and will help others who come out.

If any students want an adult to trust and talk to, the school counselors are always available.

 

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