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Show Your Support During National Coming Out Day!

Mary Panetta, Entertainment Editor

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National Coming Out day, which is October 11th, is being celebrated at Manhasset High School, “because closets are for clothes”. The school’s Gay Straight Alliance Club will manage the day. For students and teachers who would like to show their support, there will be a table with rainbow ribbons in front of the auditorium, open for anyone to take. The GSA has been working every year, run by students and theater department teacher Robb Fessler, so that students who are in the LGBT community feel supported and united.

The GLESEN, or Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network, has had their most recent National School Climate Survey in 2015. This survey helps mark progress within school communities in regards to the LGBT community. Surveys like these are educational because they highlight the problems that these students face everyday, and also show improvement with problems that are faced over the years. For example, LGBTQ students in 2015 reported a decrease in homophobic remarks made by other students compared to all prior years. “The percentage of students hearing homophobic remarks like “fag” or “dyke” frequently or often has dropped from over 80% in 2001 to less than 60% in 2015”, reports the GLSEN. The importance of events such as National Coming Out Day can be seen through statistics like these; the more students who are open about their gender or sexuality, the more likely the school will be supportive.

Though students who are gay, lesbian, or bi have seen improvement and have felt safer in their school, such progress cannot be said about transgender students. GLESEN stated that, “compared to LGBQ cisgender students, transgender, genderqueer, and other non-cisgender students faced more hostile school climates”. Additionally, aspects of school that are taken for granted for other students can be very difficult for transgender students. For example, there is only one readily available all gender bathroom in Manhasset High School, which is located in the theater lab. This can be a challenge if a student has a class that is located in the basement or the tower, and also the student misses valuable class time while in the progress of going to a bathroom that is out of the way. A possibility to why there is still hostility towards transgender students is because many people do not know someone who is transgender, and they are not educated about transgender life.

National Coming Out Day is a very important event because it brings awareness and support to the LGBTQ community. There truly is power in numbers, and Manhasset High School’s GSA Club is trying to show everyone that they deserve support and respect in every community. If you would like to show your support, wear a ribbon, and speak out. Your voice matters!

 

 

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Show Your Support During National Coming Out Day!