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Maria Zolotsev

FHS 2450
Unit 3 Essay 1
OPTION H: SEXUAL ORIENTATION IN SCHOOLS

High schools have all kinds of clubs. There's hispanic clubs, there's the
French club, there's even a club for the German speaking class. If you look at
colleges, there's even more: the Latina women club, there's a club for
Catholic communities, and there's a club for pretty much anything you can
think of--the varieties are endless. So when it comes to clubs that deal with
the gay/lesbian/transgender community, it's no surprise that people are
appreciating a sense of belonging and community. That's a right that all of us
human beings have and a right that we can all love and appreciate for so
many different reasons.
The thing about clubs is that they all serve a positive purpose and
allow those who don't have a sense of belonging to finally be free to explore
it. For me, being from a different background has confused me in many
different ways here in America. Coming from a Russian background, it was
always hard to fit in and come to the self-actualization of who I am.
Fortunately, growing up in a Russian community has given me a sense of
belonging and a sense of identity. Anything from eating Russian food, going
to a Russian church, and participating in social Russian groups always pulled
me closer to my roots and gave me confidence knowing that I'm not the only
person who was raised from a different background. Even those who aren't
Russian have participated in activities, were free to come to church with me,
and were able to get a glimpse of where I come from and get a better
understanding of my culture. Similarily, having clubs in high school for the
gay/lesbian/transgender community can do the same. Students who are
dealing with sexuality and sexual identity (including sexual orientation) can
meet other students and not feel so alone. In fact, Chapter 9 teaches us that
having clubs like this promotes people to love who they are. If spanish class
can promote the spanish culture or a men's latino class can promote self
identity, I don't see why other spectrums of identity can be of any harm in a
club.
In a general sense, I think it's great to be open about who you are and
not be ashamed of your identity. When it comes to high school, I think loving
yourself is the most important thing to teach to your students (especially
because that's when more people figure out who they are and lay in
pressured eyes when doing so). Ideas like self-acknowledgement and self

acceptance is a lot harder to come by for minority communities and for the
lifestyles of many (Crooks, 2013). Having groups that discuss self identity in
general is a great thing and having groups that discuss minorities like gays,
lesbians, and transgenders is even better. Even more so, "individuals
homophobic attitudes can change with deliberate effort, experience, or
education" (Crooks, pg 265). If more schools can have a variety of teachers
from all backgrounds, this would promote understanding and take away the
idea of bullying, hate crimes, and discrimination by giving students a better
knowledge of people in general; while being ignorant and turning a blind eye
promotes it. If teachers tell you about their background, "I'm from Mexico,
my husband and I have three kids..." then a gay male should be able to say
"I'm from Texas and my male partner and I have two dogs." Being a happy,
proud, and understanding human being should never be demeaned and
should be taught to be promoted; high school is a great place to start.

Citations
Crooks, Robert, and Karla Baur. "Our Sexuality." 12th ed. Redwood City, Calif.:
Jon-David Hague, 2013. Print.