By Mateo Menjivar
Everyone has seen public displays of affection (PDA) between couples on our campus, which often causes students to be annoyed. However, this is a fairly big change in terms of what society sees as acceptable. A hundred years ago, you would not have seen an unmarried couple holding hands, let alone kissing in public.
We have seen even further change with how society views the LGBTQIA++ community. Not that long ago, it was illegal in may places to be in a same sex relationship. Now, in the 21st century, people are much more accepting. Granada Hills Charter (GHC) has also come a long way towards accepting people in the LGBTQIA++ community. It has become commonplace to see same sex couples walking around campus holding hands.
However, female students are obviously more comfortable being seen with PDAs, such as holding hands between classes. Even when girls are more than just friends, society sees acts of affection as normalized for females more than for males. Although females in a same sex relationship still struggle with issues of discrimination and homophobia, there is less of a stigma against female same sex relationships than males.
Three New York York University Psychologists published a report in 2019 in the journal of Social Psychology and Personality Science in which they studied the prevalence of homophobia today.
“We found that gay men are disliked more than lesbian women in every country we tested,” according to the study.
Further they argued that discriminatory attitudes towards the LGBTQIA++ community are more frequent in men than women.
“In other words, harboring prejudicial attitudes toward sexual minorities is part of the social construction of what it means to ‘be a man’” in many Western countries, according to the report.
Male same-sex couples receive more stares than female same-sex couples on campus. In fact, seeing PDA between males is much less common. People tend to stare or look to see if they are together more than just friends, while females receive less scrutiny.
Often the male students on campus are not comfortable with more than a handshake with someone of the same sex for fear of discrimination or teasing. This is especially harmful for the male population that is part of the LGBTQIA++ community because they feel they have to hide their true selves and cannot have pride in themselves.
There is still enough discrimination to make people cry when they are not comfortable with doing something with the same sex for fear of bullying, slurs, name-calling, or various other types of homophobia.
The school already has a no bullying policy, but it can and should work further to encourage students to be more accepting by having more curriculums in classes about the community so they are included in learning about the community.
The school also has a club called Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) which is a student-run organization uniting LGBTQIA++ and allied students. Joining would be one step toward normalizing all relationships so that boys can be comfortable holding hands on campus too.