by Jake Rosko
Secretary of the Gay-Straight Alliance,
Kaneland—Most students are aware of how serious the teen suicides have become in the lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender community recently. Is it possible to imagine how many families are affected by the suicides because of harassment in America?
Let me first clear up a common misperception: the gays and lesbians in our entire global community do not choose to be like this. We’re born with it.
I’m sure that if we were able to make the choice, most of us would be more than willing to choose to be straight because of how much harassment we get in our homes and school lives. If we “choose” to be gay every day, then that would mean everyone else “chooses” to be straight, or to be short or tall, or the color of their hair, skin or eyes. This is not a choice that people casually make because they want to be different or to get attention.
In the past few years, I’ve noticed Kaneland has started to become more and more accepting of our gay students. Kaneland’s Gay Straight Alliance is starting to create more peace in our hallways and classrooms.
Yet every day I hear words thrown at people to intentionally hurt them. Words such as “faggot,” “queer,” “dyke,” “retard” and other harmful words are heard in the hallways not only by students, but also by teachers who let words such as these fly right by through the hallway.
When no one does something to stop those harmful words, ideas like suicide begin to seep through some students minds. Kaneland GSA’s goal this year is to put a stop to bullying in the hallways so we can all feel safe and be in a peaceful environment.
When adults do not become involved in these problems, it makes students who are the victim of bullying feel alone and hopeless because they feel no one helps them. The same is true when the victim’s friends don’t comfort and help them because they’re too scared of what people may say about them. Situations such as this can one day lead to the student committing suicide.
GSA is here for anyone after school on Wednesdays or during STEN on Thursdays to make you feel safe and comfortable with who you are.