LGBT Club faces discrimination


The LGBT Club at Lewis-Palmer puts up various posters (such as the one depicted) around the school to promote the club and advertise its meetings.

Jakob Aggers and Rebecca Crook

“LGBT is an initialism that stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender. … It may be used to refer to anyone who is non-heterosexual or non-cisgender, instead of exclusively to people who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender,” according to the Merriam Webster dictionary.

Started by Nicholas Lundy 9 and Taylor Dozier 9, the LGBT club at Lewis-Palmer has recently gained traction and attention. This club, which is sponsored by Mrs. Althouse, has become extremely popular at LP.  

“We wanted to create a safe space for people who have gone through similar situations and want to talk about what they go through on a daily basis or just in general,” Dozier said. “We talk about news around the world about other LGBT people, which helps bring the community to the school.”   

The meetings are on Thursdays after school and are based off of interpersonal discussion about various topics. These talking points are fairly open-ended, but are encouraged to stay positive.

“We all help get the conversation going and anybody can bring up a topic that they want to talk about,” Nicholas Lundy 9 stated.

The recent popularity of the club has attracted more people and resulted in more in-depth discussions, different viewpoints, and a new sense of community. Mrs. Althouse recognized the new popularity and discussion topics.

“There’s upwards of 20-25 people that come, it’s been a really popular club. They do really well with having people lead the meeting,” Mrs. Althouse responded. “They talk about food, clothing, and believe it or not, how to ask people out.”

Individually, every member of the LGBT club brings their own twist to the discussions and helps shape the identity and action of the club itself. Scott Reif 10 is just one person who has helped influence the club’s discussions and meetings.

“I wanted to shape the club by making it a way to learn and discuss the ideas that we learn and apply those to current issues that are affecting the community now a days,” Reif stated.

Althouse also mentioned that a popular topic among the club deals with discrimination. Although this is a fairly controversial talking point, the students speak freely and offer advice and support to others.

“There’s definitely a lot of people who talk about us and there is a lot of mocking. Just walking down the hallway, there’s somebody whispering or saying an offensive word or talking about us in a negative way,” Dozier commented about discrimination personally. “But the group really helps, that’s why we wanted to make it so people wouldn’t feel like they’re isolated in a school full of judgemental people.”

Because this club is based around a controversial lifestyle, it gets more negativity shed upon it that some of LPHS’s other clubs. Reif said “the moment we started LGBT Club we immediately got backlash. We had our first meeting and immediately we had posters being torn down, we had people posting on snapchat about how stupid our club is, and we overheard people talking in groups about how we’re different and how we’re stupid and how we’re excluding ourselves.”

Aside from discrimination as a club, many of the members have faced discrimination personally. Lundy described his experiences and the different mentalities of the U.S. compared to other countries.

“I am an immigrant. I came here to the States last year and that was the first time someone has ever called me the ‘f-word’. In the Philippines, even though people were more religious and more traditional, they weren’t as rude as the people I met here,” said Lundy.

In order to combat discrimination, Dozier mentioned ways that the student body could be more accepting.

“I think asking questions is really important,” Dozier said when responding to how students at Lewis-Palmer can be more accepting. “People are afraid to offend somebody or they just don’t want to be educated about it, and being educated is really the best way to support us.”

Reif had a similar message to those outside of the LGBT community. “We were never against having straight people or people who are not part of the LGBT community come into to club. I think a lot of people need to understand that we’re not trying to exclude ourselves, we’re just trying to have a place with common interests.”

Despite the increasing popularity of the club, many members still face personal discrimination. Through various discussion topics, projects, and general community involvement, the LGBT club is proving successful in its new startup and its impedance of discrimination.