The disastrous effect of queer oppression


Danielle Stein

Seniors Aidyn Saunders, Virgil Andrews, Mars LaPalme, and Courtney Burns are silenced by the actions of bigoted legislators.

Kaden Bryant, Editor-in-Chief

A rainbow flag hung upon a teacher’s wall could be enough to show a student struggling with their identity that there is hope after all. That one, small sign of support can mean the world to someone in need – but this life saving opportunity has been torn away from countless students due to recent injudicious laws.

With the amount of these new policies being passed, it’s abundantly clear that legislators are aiming to repress queer identities. Surprisingly enough, not talking about gay people doesn’t actually stop anyone from being gay. It only enables them to struggle with their mental health before inevitably coming to the same result.

According to the LGBTQ+ Institute, mental health issues in transgender and non-binary individuals have surged since the 2020 year. With the COVID-19 pandemic, political state in disarray, constant discrimination of marginalized groups, and all the other acts of hatred that have recently taken place… this outcome is no surprise.

But these laws take a horrible situation and make it even worse. Queer people are already struggling, already fighting a constant internal war, already carrying an unimaginable amount of pain. They don’t need this added burden of also having to battle for their right to exist.

If we continue down the same path, it will cause children to grow up in a society where they feel ashamed to be who they are. This is devastating for the queer community. Not only will it destroy the self-esteem of all individuals questioning their identity, but it additionally puts teachers in an uncomfortable position where they have to choose between their career and supporting a student.

A common thoughtless argument that many people in support of the “Don’t Say Gay” bill use is that children are being groomed by their teachers. This accusation is entirely false. Grooming is deliberate, intentional, and manipulative. The science teacher talking about how her and her wife own 11 cats is none of those things.

While minors shouldn’t be exposed to inappropriate content for their age, hearing about their favorite teacher’s vacation with his husband is a completely normal conversation topic. If a heterosexual and cisgender teacher can talk about their own spouse, queer people should be allowed to do the same, because it’s no different.

Legislators are not going to see the desired outcome of their homophobia eliminating LGBTQ+ identities. Instead, they’ll be faced with skyrocketing mental health issues and suicide attempts. And they’ll have no one to blame but themselves.