Has it appeared LGBT youth and students are treated differently? LGBT stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender though it is not limited to those groups. There are hundreds of LGBT youth in America alone that face daily struggles due to those that lack acceptance emanating from their family and peers. There are a several important identities people are ignorant about. LGBT youth still qualify as Americans and deserve their god-given rights. Discrimination of LGBT youth in American schools makes those students ignorant to the obligation they have to rights, a proper education, to fight abuse and bullying from their peers, and accept themselves.
The first subtopic is the rights of LGBT students and their obligation to have protection. For example, the text states “The First Amendment and your right to equal protection guarantee you the right to express yourself by bringing a same-sex date to the prom or homecoming” (ACLU 1). The article plainly tells the reader that they have the right to freedom. ACLU is the American Civil Liberty Union and they help with many types of problems, LGBT rights being one of them. If there are any questions the ACLU, more often than not, can answer them and get help.
Following up with the previous we are given another detail relating to the same topic. The article also mentions that, “A lot of the time, school officials either don’t know what the law requires them to do or they’re just betting that you won’t question what they say. Don’t take their word for it” (ACLU 1). The ACLU tells informs readers that most schools have been placed under a law requiring them to protect any LGBT student from harassment, failure to do so could be punishable by law. This shows to any LGBT student that are getting bullied, they don’t have to put up with it because a teachers’ ignorance could be their weakness. In short if any individuals aren’t sure about something their school did check with the ACLU to get the help you may need.
This next subtopic deals with the discrimination of transgender/ gender non-conforming kids. This guide reports that, “Your school should assess your needs on an individualized basis, and you and your school should come up with a plan that works for you. In all cases, your school’s goals should be to ensure your safety and support your emotional well-being so that you can learn and achieve your full potential” (ACLU/GLSEN 5). In the article, A guide for trans and gender non-conforming students, it is explained anyone can get help from their school and help start transition in school. The background of this is many students have gone to the ACLU and GLSEN, Gay, Straight, and Lesbian Education Network, with questions. These two organizations created a guide to help students through this tough time in their life, a time only made harder by their ‘abnormality’.
Continuing with what they said, the ACLU and GLSEN give yet another interesting fact. They claim “You should explain to the school that it is legally obligated to create a safe learning environment for all students, including you, and that you have a constitutional right to express who you are in school” (ACLU/GLSEN 4). As stated in the quote from the guide, the reader is told it is a legal obligation in most states for schools to protect students and give them the right to express themselves. It is a constitutional right and must be treated that way any failure to do so could result in suing by children’s parents and it could go to state. In conclusion students are obligated by most states to have protection and be offered help if they would like to start their transition in school.
The topic has now changed to discrimination distinctly of lesbian and gay students attending American schools. This article reveals “. . .2 million gay high school students are constantly threatened and abused, and many often attend classes in fear of their lives” (Marcovitz 1). An article by the name Chapter 6: Attempting to become invisible it is clearly told to the readers that lesbian and gay students live life under constant threat. Many students can find it hard to focus or do their best in such a harsh environment. This shows they are being treated differently for something they can’t control. Equality will only ever be reached when people learn to accept others.
Adding on to the previously stated this article states another fact that should be known. The article clearly states that, “Teenagers who believe they are gay not only face these pressures, they must also come to terms with their sexuality. Gay teenagers face more than just discrimination or mental and physical abuse from their classmates. They face the same dangers from sexually transmitted diseases (STD) that are faced by heterosexual teenagers” ( Marcovitz 1). The entry tells anyone interested in reading it that gay and lesbian students are at the same risk. This shows they aren’t that different and should be treated as a “normal” teen would. Lesbian and gay students, like any other students are fully given the right of an equal education, which in some places is not given.
Last comes a brief discussion of uncommon sexualities or genders and why it is important to accept them. Queer Grace suggests that, “Our culture, in large part, assumes that people are heterosexual and cis-gender. For people who are not heterosexual or cis-gender, this can be a painful or even destructive experience; LGBTQ people know that something is ‘different’ about them but may not be able to explain how” (Queer Grace 1). Queer Grace, an online website that discusses both LGBT and religious topics. They tell their readers that in our American culture it has come to be a stereotype that every child, student, and adult are all cis-gendered or straight. This stereotype hurts many people and our destructive nature has led to the pain of many people in our country. This shows not everything we think is always true but humanity needs to learn to accept what isn’t what they always had. This can be hard but is worth is, both for the accepting and the accepted. This journey is harder and getting harder due to the insolent minds of the population.
We are told shortly after another fact that should be taught to readers. This article adds that, “gender is a part of a person’s identity and refers to the way the person views themselves and presents themselves. Individuals whose sex and gender identity are the same” (i.e. a biological male who identifies as male) are known as cis-gender. Unlike sex, gender has a…diverse and nuanced identities including, but not limited to “transgender, genderqueer, agender, and genderfluid” (Queer Grace 1). As explained in this quote from the previously stated website, readers comprehend there are a multitude of gender identities and sexual orientations. People often see this as a cry for attention as it can be hard to understand that one day a person can feel like a girl and the next a boy and the day after no gender at all. All these gender make people unique but for no reason should they be discriminated against. Although there are genders that might not be all that common but humanity remains the same no matter what they identify as.
Segregation of LGBT youth in the American school system causes those youths to not realize they have the right to protection, fight against harm and/or harassment, have an equal education or accept themselves for who they are. This topic is relevant due to our current time. People have lost sight that all people, young and old, shy or bold, gay or straight, do not deserve the hate being so forcefully thrown at them. This affects our lives in ways we may not notice. Help the LGBT youth by protecting their constitutional rights.