The High School Experience Through the Eyes of the LGBTQ+ Community


N. Bigbear

High school is meant to be a place of experiences. Many find themselves indulging in school dances, sports games or the chess club. Expression of oneself is also an important part of high school to many students, especially to those of the LGBTQ+ community. High school is treated almost like an experiment to how far they can express themselves but  to most it isn’t always a welcoming experience.

“It’s really easy for me to be who I want to be when I’m here with my friends,” Nicole F. stated, “This place is like a second home to me”. Many students, not only those at Tartan High School, see high school as a place of peace. Many individuals can’t express themselves properly at home, so school grounds become a place of freedom; a place of self expression where they can treat their identity and themselves with the respect they deserve. Unfortunately due to differing opinions, many people can’t be their full selves.

“I love it here, don’t get me wrong, but it’s so disheartening when you’re picked on simply for giving your girlfriend a hug. How is it any different then if I had a boyfriend?”, Not only this, but Mikayla S. expressed discomfort when speaking of the way students would interact with her simply because of a pride flag she had her freshman year, “I used to carry a small flag to express pride in my sexuality but so many people would pick it out of my backpack and turn a part of my identity into a game. Something for them to comment on and degrade me for. It may have been small but it hurt.”.While the individuals may have just been messing around, the issue is that they were picking on her identity. For some it may just be small comments but for many others it is far crueler; from mumbled snide remarks to straight up slurs.

“I can’t even use the regular bathrooms anymore, I have to go to the nurse’s office or restrooms in the teachers lounge.” a student at Tartan High School said, “All I would like to do is use the normal bathrooms like every other guy here”.  This itself isn’t a hateful act, as the teachers are only doing what they believe is right, but it still leads to an unwelcoming feeling  amongst many students, not just at Tartan.

Students are being treated differently by their peers and teachers in a place that cries self expression; a place that is meant to be a home for students trying to find themselves. While yes, Tartan High School offers GSA and brings light to Pride month and Trans Awareness weeks, it just isn’t enough for some students. True support is  support no matter what, not supporting until it is an inconvenience.