My Experience with the LGBTQ+ Community at Cordova

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My Experience with the LGBTQ+ Community at Cordova

Olivia Gilles, Columnist

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From personal experience, there is room to grow for LGBTQ+ acceptance at Cordova High School and Rancho Cordova in general. While there is no direct hate, over my years in public school in the FCUSD district, my peers and fellow students who do not identify within the LGBT community did not always create the comfortable environment I had hoped for in California. I was never bullied or targeted for being gay, but I also felt that I had a very limited community on campus. It’s disheartening sometimes walking during passing period, and hearing others playfully call after their friends “get back here, f*ggot!”. On the other hand, I see flyers posted in classroom windows that express support for students of racial, sexual orientation, and gender expression minorities. I see pins on backpacks, stickers on water bottles, and clothes that distinguish members of the LGBT. But, these symbols of pride are received with sour glances and tense energy in classrooms between students.

 I reached out to the Cordova HS Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Club on campus, who gave me a very warm welcome, but they too felt the mixed perceptions on campus. We shared many similar scenarios, including classmates changing their attitude towards you after you make a mention of your sexuality, even if it’s hidden in a casual joke. Many faced ignorant comments and harmful jokes, whether or not pain was intended; some think it’s due to the lack of education and awareness among our fellow students on what it means to be transgender or a certain sexuality. There should be some sort of way to enforce the rights that LGBT+ people have and are equally entitled to, just as much as their straight and/or gender-conforming peers. Coming out is extremely difficult, especially when teenagers naturally desire to fit in, school does not need the unnecessary stress of having classmates ask uncomfortable questions as a part of their unpredictable response. Others will question the validity of your sexuality and/or gender, even those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, which makes it all the more difficult to explore your preferences.

Reflectively, I wish Cordova’s administrative body would pay more attention to the details that collectively produce serious issue surrounding homo/transphobia on campus. While there may not be a direct threat to students, we still do not feel completely safe and accepted by others on campus. Teachers on the other hand, have put in their best efforts to create a welcoming and comfortable environment, we feel safe in classrooms in a general sense. Overall, the LGBT community and its culture is accepted and supported at Cordova, but an undertone remains of petty hostility from students who refuse to keep an open mind. For now, the feeling on campus is adequate, but there is room to grow as more teens are coming out across the world, widening the community and creating a new social norm.