The Turning Point of the Fate of LGBT Students Across America


Miles Jeffers, Student Editor and Writer

Across America, Bills such as the “Don’t Say Gay” Bill or Bill 2161 that actively harm the well being of many students, most notably LGBT teens, are being introduced like never before. The situations that these Bills place teens into undeniably contribute to the 42% of LGBT youth who have seriously considered suicide in the past year, with 92% of these teens saying that recent legislation in regards to LGBT topics has negatively affected their mental health. 

Despite the alarming rates of suicide and self harm among LGBT populations, mental health is often traded for the ability to appeal to the beliefs of majority populations in many areas. Florida Republicans have been working hard to pass the “Don’t Say Gay” bill, banning teachers from having discussions of LGBT topics with their students as well as many books that cover these issues. 

Receiving the most outrage, particularly on social media, is the fact that this Bill as well as Bill 2161 being debated in Arizona, would force state employees to ‘out’ any LGBT students to their parents within six weeks of being informed of their identity. This actively harms students, putting them at risk of being kicked out of their homes or mentally or physically abused by loved ones. 

Windsor is no stranger to these issues, with Dr. Monica Brase, our school’s GSA leader, recalled times that students have been kicked out after coming out to their families. One of these students, choosing to remain anonymous, describes this event as being “utterly hopeless” and causing “the strongest hurt and anger [they] have ever felt.” 

This would be the fate of many more students, with their safety being at the hands of state employees and politicians. When imagining this prospect, Keith Carter described his feelings as being “completely disgusted.” It certainly feels like making backwards progress, with Brase feeling as though we are reverting back to the environment in which she grew up, “[in] a place where young people repress their thoughts and how they are feeling because they fear speaking about things for fear of being judged, hurt, or homeless.”

To avoid this, people across America have been protesting, signing petitions, donating to LGBT support organizations, and many other works of activism, but what can we, on a small scale, do to support our LGBT peers at WHS? 

Carter recommends “a system to be put in place to report acts of discrimination as they happen,” as an effort to reducing daily stress for many LGBT students, and find consequences to those who need them. Brase and many others choose to highlight the importance of simply having discussions about LGBT topics, a concept that was foreign in the age that many current teachers and politicians were growing up. However, this is certainly a change for the better, with “young people need[ing] to be able to have conversations about gender and identity because that is the developmental state of teens… discovering and beginning to establish who they are,” in the words of Dr. Brase.

 To show your support for these individuals and communities, even simply making an effort to educate yourself and participate in events such as the Day of Silence taking place every April, will help to create an accepting and welcoming environment, showing politicians across the town, state, and country, that we are here, and we will not be erased.