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Doing the Bare Minimum Isn’t Enough


Current LGBTQIA+ needs should no longer be ignored

Rainbows appear after the rain, showing  resilience and spreading reassurance. The same arrangement of colors also radiates reassurance for students whose identities are denied, brushed off, and targeted.

Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet– the rainbow stands as a symbol of hope amid insufficient campus policies, revolutionary student forums, and homophobic slurs. It’s not meant to exclude those outside the LGBTQIA+ community, and its intentions are not to “convince” other students to “turn gay.” The pride flag is an indicator of a space safe. On a campus where students’ identities are seen as a punchline, acceptance is a rarity when it should be the norm.

“LGBT isn’t a category. It isn’t something vulgar or gross. It isn’t something you need to hide from your kids. We aren’t just something that, no, we aren’t a belief. We aren’t a political idea. We’re not something controversial, we are a group of people. And in the same way that people are born knowing who they want to be and men know they like women, women know they like men. That’s how it is for us. It isn’t something we’re choosing to be or believe.”

Eve Barajas, 10

Forced to advocate for themselves, students ranging from freshmen to seniors have spearheaded the call for awareness with the Coming Out Against Hate event on Oct. 20, in hopes of initiating changes that could ripple across generations of classes to come. Eve Barajas, Danny Perez, Sprout Aragon, and Ava Hughes, along with ten more speakers and others behind the scene, organized, coordinated, and rehearsed for the event, working towards the goal of a campus equipped with facilities, staff, and curriculum that support LGBTQIA+ students, staff, and teachers. 

The student-led call for action wasn’t sparked only by the mishandled September incident, in which a student defecated on the Pride flag. It was simply the tipping point after years of insufficient support,  administrative inaction, and steadily increasing disrespect and hate. What started as a conversation about politicizing the student body with a need for flag freedom, has evolved into the overall necessity for hearing student voices at all levels of authority. 

What do we need? We need sufficient facilities for transgender students. We need enforcement over slurs that target the LGBTQIA+ community, intentionally or unintentionally. We need a curriculum that educates and includes. We need proper  inclusion when it comes to policies that affect an ostracized portion of our student body. We need our administration to follow through with their action plan for the future. In order for our students to feel included and protected, we need those in charge and our student body to  shift away from suppression and feigned ignorance.

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