The 21st Century Embraces Identifications


Elizabeth Beagle

The beginning page of District 38’s nondiscrimination policy.

Elizabeth Beagle, Editor

Many unknown ideas and concepts, that have not yet been grasped by the current society, have directed the human race for many years. When studying historical patterns and textual support, one may find that factors such as fear, religion and societal status-quo have lead to undefined crusades. After years in obscurity, the LGBT community is embraced by modern society, leading to new social changes and implications.

LGBT is an acronym for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Those who are gay or lesbian are homosexual, which is defined as the attraction to people of one’s own gender. The attraction to both men and women is known as bisexuality; this is usually the first preference considered when one does not label himself as homosexual.

The feeling of being trapped in a body of another gender is called transgender. Defined by the Oxford Dictionary, transgender is “the denoting or relating to a person whose sense of personal identity does not correspond with the gender assigned to them at birth.”

Among the last few decades, new identifications including non-binary and pansexuality have emerged into today’s society. Those who are identifying as non-binary are not bound to any gender, which means they are neither a male nor a female. Often confused with bisexuality, pansexuality is not limited in regard to biological attraction, gender or gender identity. Those who are pansexual can be attracted to any person no matter what he or she identifies.  

As such topics are brought to light, social implications follow. Whether it be at school or in society, “coming out” for some is a difficult process that can have prolonged emotional effects. For Ryan Hunt, 12, a member of the LGBT community, it took all of middle school and half-way into high school to notify his friends, family and peers. Coming out to fellow peers can provoke reactions of discrimination or those that are supportive.

“People were pretty welcoming. I mean there will always be some people that will disagree my lifestyle; but, for the most part, people are pretty welcoming,” Hunt said.

Despite the occasional disputes and disagreements, the majority of the LGBT community has received more support than discouragement. The call for equality and tolerance is not only from the LGBT community, but it is from their peers who stand for freedom to love and social equality.

“I definitely accept the LGBT community,” Emily Oliger, 9, said. “I believe that everyone should have equal rights, and everyone should be tolerated, if not accepted for who they are.”

Following all state, federal and school board policies regarding nondiscrimination, the Lewis-Palmer School District makes sure that each student gets the same opportunities of education, regardless of identification, sexulaity, gender, race and appearance. Utilities such as an all gender restroom has been installed for those who are transgender, Agender or non-binary.

“I think we have a thousand individuals students, and everyone has their own views and opinions. I think it is a goal of the school and society as a whole to be accepting of everyone and for everyone to have a safe environment,” Lewis-Palmer High School Principal Sandi Brandl said.

As society as a whole evolves over time, the peers of the LGBT community have begun a process that reaches out and smooths the rifts between the LGBT community and society. Today, activist groups are saying that people are people regardless of identification. It is the hopes of those of LGBT that this progress will lead to a time where identification does not play a part in how people view each other.

“If anyone were to come out to me, I would be totally accepting and offer to help them. I’d ask them if there is anything I need to do to make it easier. It involves a lot of self reflection. Coming out to people you know is also really difficult because you don’t know how your friends, team and parents will react,” Oliger said.