I Joined The Gay Straight Alliance In High School And Helped Create Change

I Joined The Gay Straight Alliance In High School And Helped Create Change

If you are passionate about it, you can be an advocate!

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One day, I was sitting in the cafeteria with my friend and she was talking about someone who I thought was a girl but she was referring to this person using "he" and "him" pronouns. I was confused, so I asked her to explain more. I learned that this person was transgender. I wanted to learn more about this community and became very interested. Towards the end of my Sophomore year, I learned that my friend was a part of the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) which is a club for the LGBT community.

I continued asking her about the club and what they do. She explained that the club continues to educate themselves and to spread awareness throughout the school. I was interested, so I decided to go to a meeting to see if I enjoyed it. I knew this was something I wanted to be a part of once I walked into the room. The sponsor was so welcoming!

During that meeting, they were discussing changes to make the LGBT community feel safe at school. The option that we were discussing was having gender-neutral bathrooms. We decided to have a school-wide petition and if that goes well, we would talk to the principal to see if that change could be done. This is very important since this would help many students feel safe and comfortable.

First, we came up with a plan of how we were going to do the petition. We had to make sure there would be enough people at the booth and we also had to prepare in case we got any negative feedback. The actual petition went really well. We had a lot of support from the school. It felt so good knowing that there were a lot of people supporting us for this change to happen. In the end, we got over 1,000 signatures which meant that we got the opportunity to talk to the principal about moving forward. She was willing to do anything to help us reach our goal. She was very accommodating and we were able to have a gender-neutral bathroom ready to use by the beginning of the next school year.

This was something that I didn't even know was possible to do. This experience allowed me to learn more about the issues that the LGBT community have to go through each day. It helped me discover a passion that I didn't know I had. This is still a passion of mine and I'm going to try my best to be an advocate for this community as I am planning to become a High School English teacher.

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What It Means To Be Non-Binary, From 5 People For Whom It Is A Reality

The future isn't binary.

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Until college, I had never met anyone who did not identify with the gender they were given at birth. When I met my first friend who was non-binary, I had a lot of questions.

Not wanting to be disrespectful, I kept a lot of them to myself, but after reflection, I realized that I would rather ask questions and be informed in order to respect my friends.

Recently, when the topic of being non-binary has come up in conversation, I realized that a lot of people I know ignore it because they are confused by it. I find that completely ignorant. There is no excuse not to respect how your fellow humans identify.

I decided to write this article to spread awareness and help people understand what it means to be non-binary. I am not non-binary myself, but I have many friends who identify as non-binary. It is not a phase or a trend, and they are real people.

When you google "non-binary," this is what comes up:

Everyone expresses gender differently, so that is why I decided to interview a few of my friends in order to get a full understanding. Gender, just like sexuality, has no right or wrong answer. It is a spectrum.

A few of my friends have taken new names, which means that the name that was assigned to them at birth is now their "dead" name.

(Some of the interviewees are not publicly out, so I am writing under a fake name for them!)**

I hope this has given you a better understanding of what non-binary is. Just remember to be kind and respectful of one another.

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Our Leaders Need A 'Time-Out'

We all learned a few essential rules as children.

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As I look watch the news, I can't help but wonder if the lessons we learned as children might not serve our leaders well. They seem to have forgotten these basic lessons. I am reminded of the book by Robert Fulghum "All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten."

Watch out, hold hands, and stick together.

I think this could be useful in a couple of different contexts. First, the current divisiveness in the country doesn't serve us well. We are first and foremost, a part of the family of humankind. Differences in politics, religion, and so on come in far behind that one important attribute. What happened to the notion of agreeing to disagree?

Second, when leaders get off a plane in another country, they should remember who they came with and who they represent - "watch out, hold hands, and stick together."

Clean up your own mess.

Trump seems to take great pleasure in blaming everyone else for their "mess." The government shutdown was someone else's fault – any Democrat. When the stock market went up, he happily took credit, but when it went down, he quickly shifted gears and placed the blame on the Federal Reserve Chairman. Daily and hourly tweets out of the White House place blame on someone else for his "mess." Sadly, he still likes to blame Obama and Hillary for his mess.

Don't lie.

Politicians have always had a bad reputation when it comes to honesty. Still, the number of lies that we hear from Trump (and members of his staff) is unprecedented even for a politician.

We all learned these lessons when we were little more than five years old. Now more than any time in history I think our leaders need a " time out" to re-learn these lessons.

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