By Carolyn Cho and Shaneli Mirpuri
Homophobia is present throughout society and homophobic bullying occurs every day in and out of schools. In fact, according to the BRIM Anti-Bullying Software, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth are far more likely to be bullied than heterosexual students. The percentage of gay youth that are bullied is two to three times higher than that of heterosexual youth.
Although most teenagers today are aware that homophobia is a huge problem throughout the nation, many do not see the homophobic culture in our very own schools. Many LGBTQ youth are bullied every day with terms like gay, queer, homo, and many more terms.
“There was a transgender girl who went here two years ago and would get cursed at almost daily. The slander and disgust was more from guys, who believed she should have stayed as a ‘he.’ A lot of girls were also really uncomfortable or confused to see her in the locker room simply because they did not understand the situation,” senior Annette Wagner said.
Unfortunately, sometimes the presence of homophobia can take a more serious and violent tone in the form of threats of physical harm.
“I was sitting at a table of a bunch of guys and somehow they brought up the topic of what you would do if a guy told you he was crushing on you. Most of the responses were really negative and one guy even said he would ‘beat the life out of him.’ I am not out at school even though most of my friends know and accept me, but it is really discouraging to see some of my classmates have these homophobic views,” an anonymous bisexual junior said.
Often, students do not even realize that they are being homophobic or disrespectful to the LGBTQ community. Most of this type of homophobia is caused by ignorance and heteronormativity, the belief that people fall into the distinct genders of man and women and asserts heterosexuality is the norm.
“I always see people ask ‘who is the guy and girl in the relationship?’ It doesn’t work that way. We are both guys, so we are both the ‘guy’ in the relationship,” junior Anthony Ancheta said.
Despite the few homophobes, most Granada Hills Charter High School (GHCHS) students are accepting of LGBTQ students and are supportive of their peers.
“One Granada student posted a picture on twitter of two lesbians kissing with the caption ‘disgusting’, but everyone immediately and angrily tweeted back at him in support of the girls. The next day he deleted the picture, but he was already told off by everyone. It was really great to see how GHCHS students can support each other,” senior Chris Bautista said.