After LGBT Suicides, Mission High Schoolers Urge Classmates to Come Out
|Mr.Tsu, advisor of Mission High School Gay Straight Alliance|
In response to the recent rash of suicides of LGBT teens across the country, students in the Gay Straight Alliance at Mission High School hit the halls at lunch on Wednesday to get classmates and teachers to come out.
Well, if not as gay (we are talking about insecure high schoolers here) then as a supporter of gay rights, a straight ally, or even as something as wacky as a "gorilla lover."
Many of the students donned their purple "Gay? Fine be me" T-shirts while canvassing the halls. Students across town at Galileo High School were also encouraged to put on purple on Wednesday to memorialize those who've commit suicide in the past month because of bullying. Though school district officials can't recall any instance of an LGBT-identified student taking their life in this school district, we wrote earlier this week about a survey that shows gay bullying and thoughts of suicide among gay students in San Francisco schools is much higher than you might think.
So let the coming out begin!
The students circulated papers reading "I'm coming out as," to which students and teachers filled in proclamations like "I'm in support of 'all' people's rights. I support gay's in the military and gay's in sports." Another filled in "a student in support of gay marriage." And another whimsically came out as a "fluffy dinosaur, octopus, and I love LGBTQ."
Sushi Song, an 18 year old senior who identifies as a straight ally, walked into Mr. Roth's social studies class, to which the jovial teacher (donning a purple t-shirt himself) greeted her with "Oh, this is the purple thing!" He filled out a paper, coming out as "a proud parent of a gay son," and so did the high school student sitting beside him, putting a "Q" for queer.
As far as bullying at the school, Mr. Roth said bullying "continues to go on. Days like today are important because it keeps the issue in the forefront. In a place like Mission in the middle of San Francisco, you could think that the problems is resolved...But we can't be self-satisfied about it here."