The Unspoken Struggles of LGBT+ Students at Bowie

Alex Delmonico, Reporter

There is a time in everyone’s life where they feel like an outcast or different from everyone else.  They may struggle with their feelings towards this, feeling misunderstood or discriminated against over things they cannot control. This is a fate many LGBT+ students at Bowie face both in and out of school.

In 2011, the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law conducted 11 surveys regarding the estimated size of the LGBT population in the world. In that study, an estimated 3.5% of adults in the US identified as lesbian, gay, or bisexual, and an estimated 0.3% are transgender, which totals to an approximate 9 million LGBT Americans.

3 LGBT students at Bowie were interviewed and had uncertain answers on whether LGBT students at Bowie were heard and understood. The counseling department at Bowie did not respond to an interview request.

“I feel like most of the time teachers are understanding of pronouns and sexuality, but there’s always gonna be a handful that think it’s wrong,” said sophomore Touya Román-Piñeiro. “There are some teachers I chose to not come out to but for the most part, sure. I’ve been asked so many unnecessary questions by students and had comments made to me, so I feel like most of the straight kids aren’t great.”

Two of the students said their personal relationships hadn’t changed once they came out, but the third had a different experience.

“My relationships changed with my parents, definitely,” Junior Dionysus Ylen said. “They felt the need to walk on eggshells because at first they thought it was disgusting, but then they slowly came around. I don’t think any of my actual relationships changed, because I was 9 and no one really understood what being gay was at 9. I felt like none of my friendships really changed but the relationship between me and my parents changed.”

Most students agreed that, in regards to LGBT students at Bowie, there were some who were respectful while others remained disrespectful. 

“I feel like we’re respected by a portion, but not by a good portion,” Román-Piñeiro said. “I’ve been called slurs in the hallways and in class. I don’t think it can change, it’s like talking to a brick wall. They just don’t listen whether you’re nice or mean, it’s always the same thing, so I genuinely don’t think it’ll change for the most part.” 

“I feel like it’s a 50/50 split, it depends on who you ask,” said junior Desiree Lara. “ I don’t know how you’d go about changing that, everyone’s a little bit different, especially in regards to religion.”

Students felt there was nothing to be done to make Bowie a more inclusive place.

“I think Bowie did the best they could,” Ylen said. “No one is going to change their ways for 4 years at high school.”