Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2017-09-20
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

GUEST COLUMN School: Still not so safe
by Kelsi Williams
2017-07-12

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


In the year of 2017 LGBT culture has become more accepted, but tensions are still high in places such as public schools.

Teachers and students alike mistreat students of the community without even realizing it, and once they do the discrimination still continues. Personally, I no longer find it as difficult to be myself as it would have been years ago, but years of discrimination still come to life every now and then.

The T and B in the LGBT acronym stand for transgender and bisexual. Students that identify as transgender still are not allowed to use their preferred bathrooms or express themselves the proper way. They have faced suspension, and sometimes expulsion, for even attempting to stand their ground and be proud of who they are. While that is happening, people who identify as bisexual are being discriminated against by their peers, and sometimes teachers if they find out, and are considered confused, but that is nowhere near true.

As a Chicago Public Schools ( CPS ) student, as well as a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance at my school, I have seen, heard, and experienced how straight students treat their peers that are different from them. On a day-to-day basis straight students are pretty "tolerant," but every now and then ignorance peeks out. I can recall being asked by female friends how do I manage to not get a crush on all of the girls I hang out with. In theory, it sounds like an innocent question, but being a bisexual girl and liking girls is the same as being a straight girl and liking boys. It's all based on personality, not gender.

Some peers don't just say rude things, but they also make it physically clear that they do not accept the difference. This year at one of my school dances two boys were dancing together and having a good time until one of the football players pulled them from each other and said that he "couldn't handle all that gay stuff." They felt safe within their school environment and thought they could be open with their sexuality, but as soon as things started to progress we were taken several years back with that act of pure hatred of two people doing nothing wrong but being themselves.

There are safe places for students of the community, such as a school's GSA or the annual Gay Prom in Chicago, but these safe places do not stop the students from hearing rude comments every day about the way they "choose" to live their life. As a society it is easier to ignore what we do not see, and it has been that way for many years, but the build up of this ignorance has led to several instances of hate crimes, such as the shooting at Pulse in Orlando, that make people feel like it is not safe to be themselves.

Not only are other students in the way of the freedom of LGBT students, but teachers also cause problems for the students. Some teachers actually help and guide students through their coming out experiences, but there are teachers that make their views on LGBTs very clear or they don't do anything to help the students that are being harassed. Bystanders of bullying are frowned upon, but teachers that stay out of harassment of the students are justified by several people, especially by those who do not agree with gay marriage or LGBTs in general.

Teachers hardly speak up when regular bullying is involved, but there is a whole different level of neglect when hate-crime bullying is involved. Students are advised to go to an adult when situations that make them feel unsafe or bullying occurs, but what if the student in need is gay? Bisexual? Transgender? What then? There are states that prohibit teachers from even addressing LGBT-related issues. This is harmful to the students because it limits people they can confide in as well as it stops them from being able to learn about their own history.

The suppression and abuse of LGBT culture in school settings needs to be stopped. Illinois specifically may be considered safe for students, but it only takes one or two peers or teachers to show the students that the world may not have changed as much as we have thought.

Kelsi Williams is a senior at Lindblom Math and Science Academy, where she writes for their newspaper, The Talon.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

LETTER Bi the way 2017-09-20 - Dear editor: This is an open letter to the entire LGBTQ community on behalf of all bisexual and bi-curious MEN and our ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Missing Millett: Her role in a coming-out 2017-09-13 - I never read Sexual Politics. That's the most famous work of Kate Millett, who died earlier this week. This text, feminist scholars say, ...


Gay News

VIEWS Hurricane Harvey's gay problem? 2017-09-13 - Since the intentional misreading of the Sodom and Gomorrah story in Genesis 19 in the Bible where the twin cities were supposedly destroyed ...


Gay News

VIEWPOINTS Illinois takes a big step forward with new vital records law 2017-09-06 - I am a proud transgender woman born and raised in Illinois. But that does not define me completely. I am also a runner, ...


Gay News

LETTERS Trump attacks marginalized communities 2017-09-06 - Dear Editor: President Trump recently made two announcements—and, as in the past, both are direct attacks on our communities. First, the ...


Gay News

LETTERS Banning the ban 2017-08-30 - Dear editor: We will not tolerate the transgender military ban. What message does it send to our armed forces and our country ...


Gay News

MOMBIAN In the wake of Charlottesville 2017-08-23 - As a child, there were two things I thought were unfathomable and absolutely morally wrong: nuclear war and Nazis. To see both in ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN A tribute to Mariann Mayberry 2017-08-09 - Steppenwolf Theatre actor Mariann Mayberry died at age 52 after a long battle battle with cancer. Following is a tribute to her from ...


Gay News

LETTERS Loving church; gun violence and legal assistance 2017-08-09 - Choosing my religion Byron Brazier Pastor, Apostolic Church of God Chicago, Illinois Dear Pastor Brazier: I am not debating what ...


Gay News

GUEST COLUMN Taboo Sex, Racism, and Gay Men: A Chat in Black and White 2017-08-02 - In 30 years of HIV work alongside Black advocates, I have rarely written on the topic of race. It makes me uncomfortable, or ...


 



Copyright © 2017 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.