I Give a Damn
I give a damn about equality. Though I am still in high school, one voice is still better than none. I lived overseas in places like Italy and Japan. When I was younger, around age six, I didn’t wake up and go to school dreading what to hear in terms of phrases and discrimination because I was only in first grade. The students I went to school with did not shout out at people to make fun of them the way I hear people do in the halls of the high school I attend today.
Starting around 6th grade, I began to hear people say the phrase “that’s so gay.” I thought at the time they were trying to say “That’s so happy” considering the definition defined in many dictionaries. I questioned it, asked people what they meant by it, and many replied with saying that it meant something equivalent to saying something was stupid. I myself am a lesbian. Even though when I did find myself attracted to guys a little bit, I have always been attracted to girls.
When I started school back in the United States in 8th grade, I heard more than just that phrase. I heard people yelling at others and getting into arguments over someone’s sexual orientation. I saw a few students be beaten up over it. So of course, I was naturally scared to come out. During that year I dated a guy and I waited a month to tell him that I am also attracted to girls. He said he wouldn’t tell anyone but the day after I told him, he went around and told the whole school. I had people I didn’t even know come up to me and say “YOU LIKE GIRLS!?” and I got ugly looks from over half of them. So in a way, that’s how I ‘came out’ to people.
I started high school and I had liked one of my best friends for a little over a year. We went to different schools at the beginning of 9th grade. I told her how I felt about her, and she ended up coming out to me as well. After the first quarter, I moved to southern California. I went to a school with a little over 800 people in grades 7 to 12. So it was a pretty small school and everyone knew everything about anything pretty much. I walked down the halls quietly my first day, a few people talked to me and some I came out to. I got weird looks and over time, the whole school knew.
I came out to people in my English class because they got on the topic of how words like “damn,” “shit,” and more came to be and someone said “god created those words.” It ended up into an argument leading to homosexuality and I said “So for those who do not believe in god and for people like me who are attracted to the same gender, you’re saying not only they but I be damned to hell too?” There was one kid who started trash talking to me, saying I was an animal, I’m going to hell, and that I’m worthless. I walked out of class in tears because I already had a low self esteem and it just made me feel worse.
My best friend, Devon, came up to me after class, she gave me a hug, and said “They shouldn’t have said that to you. Trust me, I understand how you feel.” Later in the week, we were in Spanish class. People started making “gay jokes” and I asked for people to stop. They kept doing it and started harassing Devon about homosexuality and how she shouldn’t be standing up for ‘them.’ She stood up and said “I AM BISEXUAL. I am who I am. There is no difference about me from who you thought I was a minute ago. If you cannot accept that, then leave me alone.” People started staring at her and I stood up and said “I am too. What are the rest of you going to do about it?”
We ended up dating later and the day after I asked her out people swarmed around us in the cafeteria because we were the ‘first lesbian couple’ the school has seen in a long time. I didn’t say much even though people were asking so many questions and Devon told everyone to back off. That day, I walked into my J.ROTC class and the flight commander gave me an evil glare. People started gossiping about me and Devon, saying it’s just for attention and stuff. No one really talked to me in that class.
We ended up breaking up and we still had feelings for each other throughout the rest of the school year but people were bashing on us. We didn’t know how to take it at the time. I started up a GSA with a few close friends and we had it approved by the school. People bashed on the supporters of the GSA. There were only about 5 bisexual and homosexual people combined in the club, the rest of the 30+ members were all supporters of gay rights, and yet people were going around saying everyone in it was gay. People would try to peek in through the windows to see what we were doing, they’d open the door and scream profanity, and once there was a guy that came in during the meeting to take a test. So we tried to keep the meeting quiet since he was taking a test.
The kid started bashing on all of us and I, being the president, asked him not to nicely. He finished his test, but instead of leaving, he started picking a fight with one of the other club members. They started to get into a fist fight but the teacher and I broke it up. The guy ran out of the class room, I walked out, and I went off of the guy after the meeting was over. I told him not to ever come in and fight with someone for being either a supporter or a homosexual, that none of us appreciated it, and that not everyone in there is a homosexual. A few of the members moved over the summer and the vice president for the next school year ended up leaving for classified reasons. So the GSA didn’t really last that long, only up until half of the next year. Things died down after that but people were a little more open about their sexuality.
Now I go to a school of 2,000+ students just in the grades of 10 to 12. I still hear people bashing on others. I hear people claiming that some person is gay, some person is a lesbian (they use the word “dyke”), or using the phrase ‘that’s so gay.’ I still do not appreciate it. I understand that I have one more year left of high school, but after just these some-what minor* things I’ve seen, heard, and experienced just within these last 4 years… This is why I give a damn.
*I say minor because there have been people killed because of their sexuality whether it’s murder or suicide.
Get informed and get involved. Register to join the campaign and let us know you give a damn about equality.
Spread the word about equality. Watch our damn videos and share them with the people in your life!play
Share your story with us and the people in your life. Tell us why you give a damn about equality!play
Cyndi Lauper’s True Colors Fund Names Jama Shelton as Director of Forty to None Project, Our Sister Org
[caption id="attachment_9746" align="alignnone" width="450" caption=" (L to R) Joe Moran, Communications and Technology Director, ...Author: Joe
Watch the excitement on Cyndi Lauper: Still So Unusual this Saturday night, February 9 at 9|8c on WE tv. This week’s episode of ...Author: Admin
Hatred. Derision. Insults. Threats. Harassment. Assault. It’s estimated nearly 90% of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted at school.