Fear, it’s something everyone experiences in their lives, but some will never feel the fear of wanting to be different. That girl who feels like a boy, is scared to cut her hair, she fears what people will think, what her family will do, being different… this is a fear so many people will NEVER feel. But luckily, at PRHS, Equality Club is a place where people who have these fears can connect and confide with others who have the same or similar fears. Some students were asked about these fears, and 50% of them say they are afraid to go to school most days, most likely because 50% of them also experience physical/verbal abuse and bullying [Paso High Equality Club Members].
When Mrs. Goodnow was asked about the topic, she said this, “I think the club is important because it’s important to advocate and educate, and it’s sort of our mission to make sure that people know that there is a place of support”, in complete favor of the students needs. While interviewing, a lot of people were curious to why this story mattered, and i’ll tell you why. This story matters because it allows people who may not know about this stuff, it helps people understand a new perspective. No matter if you believe in it or not, it’s still important for people to be informed. Especially for people who may not have access to this information or are cut off.
“I go to Equality Club to support people who identify as LGBTQ+, and I believe that it is a great place for kids to go that are feeling uncertain or upset about their sexuality, and they are able to meet people who have gone/are going through the same troubles they are.”-Anonymous
Within the LGBTQ+ community, everybody is in a different place, some may be extremely comfortable and have already come out, and some may feel lost and be hiding. Throughout all of these emotions, it’s good to have a place they can all meet as one. But there can be so many negative emotions that people go through while finding themselves, and a couple of students have told their stories.
“Yes, I have had suicidal thoughts, as it is difficult being looked down on by people that truly believe they are better and I have less a right to be here then they do because I’m not like them.”- Anonymous. This quote is anonymous, and if you look closely, you’ll see a pattern, they all are… Because of feelings and thoughts like this, people feel like prey, hiding from predators. All of them want to make a difference, but none of them want to be attacked for it. About 85% of the 7 students interviewed reported that they indeed, have had suicidal thoughts, but claim that the club has relieved some of these thoughts immensely. But sometimes there are things the club can’t help, like discrimination with physical and verbal abuse.
Being a victim myself, I understand what people are going through, and I try to help people as much as I can. Some will never understand the fear that is instilled in us, and the fear of not being able to be ourselves. Mrs.Goodnow, the current founder of the club, inspired me to prove to others, that being me, is ok. I will never forget the smell of the kids breath in my face, as he told me I was going to hell, the beads of sweat dripping down my forehead, and the sound of my heart reverberating throughout my head.
In the past, the club had a certain anxious aura, while kids tried to muster up anything they had to go. It proved rather difficult, even for me, to be seen there. This is something that can change though.
Hopefully in the future, there will be more support from teachers and students, and the Equality Club will be something that more of a majority of the school will be excited about. Also, I hope that it will be more known, that even just going to support the club or others, can have a huge impact.
Ghandi once said, “No two leaves are alike, and yet there is no antagonism between them or between the branches on which they grow”. After all, no matter Gay, Straight, or transgender, etc., that doesn’t change the fact, that we are all human.