My Side of the Rainbow: Being Gay at the Latin School

Jake Schlossberg Staff Writer First, a disclaimer: this piece is opinionated. I really can’t speak for anyone but myself. Having come out at the beginning of this past summer, I’m close to my unofficial one-year anniversary. Being out for almost an entire school year, I’ve experienced quite a bit. Firstly, I’ve been really happy. Nothing beats being your genuine self. Although, Degrassi Junior High already taught that to us all. What has really surprised me, though, is how people have treated me differently. More girls are coming up to talk to me. Granted, I’ve always had more girl friends than guy friends, but these girls are different. They want a “gay best friend,” a gay guy who is only in their life to take them shopping, gossip, and talk about boys. To understand how I feel about this, one first has to know a bit about me: I am a stereotype. Not because I have to be, not because I want to be, it’s just who I am. Having said that, it really bothers me when girls try to make me their own stereotype. Why can’t gay guys be someone’s best friend, not just a gay best friend? The world may never know. Something else that has surprised, saddened, and marginally angered me is the way that I’ve been talked to since coming out. People aren’t flat out insulting me, but it’s the little things, really. For example, I’ll be talking to a girl, and she will say something along the lines of, “ Why are all guys so stupid?” to which I respond, “I’m not stupid.” Usually, the girl says something similar to, “Oh, well you’re gay, you don’t count.” The last time I checked, I have a penis, and comments like that are extremely insulting. You know, I may act “femme,” but that does not mean that anyone has any sort of permission to say that I am not a man. Similarly, I’ve found that, more and more, girls are saying to me, “It’s such a shame that you’re gay!” That bothers me. I am not a waste of space, I am just as much of a human being as anyone, and even if you’re saying that as a joke, it’s awful. I just wish people would think of how their comments can be received. Honestly, if I were to go up to someone and say, “Gosh, it’s such a shame that you’re black,” they would be insulted. Don’t say that people are worth less because of something that they can’t control. I thought we were past that. Another thing that has really surprised me since I’ve been in high school at Latin is the lack of lesbian, bi, and trans presence at the school. Statistics dictate that 7 in 100 women in America identify as lesbian or bisexual. There are 430 students in Latin’s high school. By those numbers, there should be roughly 28 lesbian and bisexual girls in our high school. My question is, why aren’t there more “out” lesbians and bisexuals at our school. What sort of an environment have we created that lesbians and bi girls don’t feel comfortable coming out? What can we do to help more lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people feel comfortable at our school? That’s what the CAUSE is trying to figure out. Which brings me to my next point. Why aren’t there more GLBT people in the CAUSE? Currently, I can count the number of gay, lesbian, bi, and trans people in the CAUSE on my fingers. There are more GLBT kids than that in the school. Personally, I’ve found myself very disappointed by the lack of community in the Latin GLBT community. Luckily, we have some truly amazing straight people in the club as well, but we always wish there were more. My opinion is this: support one another; we’re all in similar boats, here. Look, now I’ve turned into an advertisement for the CAUSE. But seriously, it’s a great resource, more people should utilize it. Anyway, that’s just my opinion. Go discover your own side of the rainbow.  ]]>