LGBTQ+ Eagles

LGBTQ+ Eagles

Erin Fuller, Staff Writer

Broomfield High School is a place with multitudes of personalities: jocks, student council, theatre kids, literal brain surgeons, and wallflowers. Yet, within these groups are those who are afraid to be known as anything other than that. Although acceptance and the ability to come out has been the highest it’s ever been, the LGBTQ+ community is still in the dark, trying not to be seen. The mission is to find these students who are willing to shine a light on themselves and share who they are.

I created a poll to discover these humans. Being in the LGBTQ+ community myself, I already know many people that share this with me, but who else? The poll got around 50 responses, asking what grade, what gender, if they identify with the community, and if other people are aware. The responses were quite interesting.

The majority of the poll takers, 65%, were female, and the other 35% were males. “Dating and existing within the community, especially as a queer male, is tough,” says Nathan Shamblin (12), who is bisexual. “Being out and coming out can isolate you and estrange you from your friends.”

The grade level was not as varied as I would have thought, with mostly upperclassmen. If these people are a part of the community, only 21% of them are completely out; a tie of 39% each were for people only partially out and people not out at all. There were 12 people who said I could interview them, a surprising number for the 29% of people who said they were in the community as well.

Seven responses of why these people aren’t out explained they were scared of not being accepted and feeling judged. “I don’t know everyone’s opinions or if they’ll judge me, and I don’t want to feel unaccepted,” was one response. Commitment and acceptance of themselves was also a common theme. “It was a large step in self discovery and something I struggled with a lot during the time. It felt like a necessary step in accepting myself and learning to love myself in order to love others,” said another.

So why is this? Why are people so frightened to come out as their true selves? I asked the students how they were impacted in order to figure themselves out and why they were hesitant to come out.

“I currently identify as asexual biromantic,” said Garrett Salyer (11). “One influence in my life was Bojack Horseman, like the Netflix show. The first season ends with one of the main characters questioning himself as ‘ace’ [asexual]. I think being out in high school is definitely risky for some people, depending on their family situation or the friends they have.” Garrett said his sexuality is not really something he parades about, but is something he doesn’t shy away from.

Jacqueline Wells (9), who identifies as bisexual, said, “With the amount of new identities showing up, people are afraid of choosing one and being wrong.” There are more ways that people are discovering and feeling than ever before, and all should be willing to explore and try things out.

“At school, other kids don’t understand the community so they judge and make fun of us,” said Annaliese Floyd (10), who is bisexual. “There’s also a lot of jokes these days about being gay, so LGBTQ+ people think that other will say they’re a joke.”

Isa Lovato (11) has been struggling with her identity since 7th grade, and although she has figured most things out and identifies as a lesbian, there are still conflicts. “It’s very easy to say you are comfortable with being out everywhere, but there are people in the world at this time that make it very dangerous,” she says. “My immediate family is very supportive of me, but the rest of them are religious and they choose not to look past their beliefs to love.”

There is still hesitation with coming out, even on my side. It took me a long time to get comfortable with the word girlfriend after I found someone who means that much to me. It sounds odd to say it out loud still to new people that I just met, but I want to be honest with everyone and make things casual, because that’s what they deserve to be like. We deserve casual, we deserve usual, we deserve love.