Combating Homophobia At School


Presley Saleh

As we shift from middle school to high school, students begin to discover their sense of identity and go through different experiences making them who they are. Lake Shore is an LGBTQ+-friendly school with a Gay-Straight Alliance club (GSA) led by staff member Paige May. 

Despite the acceptance among most teachers and students, in recent years an increase of bullying and harassment has been noticeable towards members of the community whether it be a queer or transgender person or simply just an ally. 

Teachers and students have noticed that certain vocabulary has spread around more than it used to be. It is most likely obvious what that vocabulary is, but if it is not, the “F slur” and other labels associated with the community have risen in use. Beliefs aside, name-calling should not be tolerated toward any group of people, especially while we are still young and trying to get by.

If you or someone you know does not feel welcome or safe due to bullying or anything else, consider joining the GSA. May, leader of the GSA states that the club is intended to, “Spread inclusivity and acceptance throughout the school.” 

May has many things planned for this group, but we are lacking members. Whether this lack is derived from fears, unawareness, etcetera, the club is awaiting members, so look out for signs advertising the club. 

May has many plans for the GSA club. She remarks, “I really want to paint lockers because I think it would be good to bring that back. And, we are going to do a bake sale maybe in January.”

When you boil this tough topic down to its surface, unacceptance from students is inevitable. There will always be people who have not warmed up to their peers, and changing one’s opinion is hard. 

I and a few other of my peers cultivated that learning proper ways to defend yourself and deal with bullying should be taught instead of “stop bullying,” because the world will never stop bullying. 

People can be rude and oftentimes ignorant, but there are safe spaces like the Gay-Straight Alliance open to every student along with other ways to manage.