[su_slider source=”media: 26805,26806,26807″ limit=”25″ link=”image” target=”blank” width=”700″ height=”460″ speed=”500″]

“Our society and our schools were built to fit ‘boy’ or ‘girl,’ and not people who transition,” said Mission High School student Rexy Amaral, who identifies as gay and who, also being a drag performer, sometimes dresses in female clothing to go to school.

“Before I came out to anyone really, I didn’t want to be who I am. I often thought of my sexuality and gender as something bad… I wanted to be a regular boy, who liked girls, who played sports, and was super handsome,” remembers Amaral.

Our society is like a computer’s binary system: it only accepts 0 and 1, and will not work if you add 3 or 4 or 5 to it. In a Binary Gender System only two types exist: straight men who are tough, masculine and unemotional, and straight women who are expected to be weak, gentle and feminine.

“Don’t hit like a girl”, says the football coach, according to some students. This expression uses femininity to show weakness and shows feminine nature has not fully accomplished respect in our society.

Lack of awareness about the LGBTQ community can lead to a stressful life for students like Rexy, who was bullied before coming out. Rexy remembers: “In 7th grade, my second week at Horace Mann I was beaten up by three students, while there were a bunch of students watching.”

LGBTQ students can get bullied easily when teachers aren’t around.

“There is a lot of stuff that we don’t see,” says MHS English teacher Clemevel Fuentacilla. “The hallways, stairways, when there aren’t teachers around, there will be students who try to mess with them.”

Our school is safer for LGBTQ students than it was before though.

“I wouldn’t say that this is the unsafest place. I know there are some students here who are out as trans, as gay, or bi, and feel safe,” said Taica Hsu, math teacher at MHS and mentor for the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club.

At the GSA club, students and teachers discuss how to make school a better place for LGBTQ students and raise awareness about different sexual orientations and genders that some students might not be aware of or understand.

GSA club organizes events for the LGBTQ community at MHS. One of the biggest events is the annual Drag Show, where people perform during school assembly. They dance and tell stories about coming out as LGBTQ to their families, friends or at school.

Another event is the “marriage booth,” where you can love and marry whoever you want. People can propose with a ring pop and get a marriage certificate.

There is also National Coming Out Day, when people come out as whomever they want. And another big event is the national Day Of Silence. Teachers and students wear tape over their mouths and take a vow of silence to show the world what it would be like if LGBTQ people did not exist.

“It’s the way to show the world that there are way more LGBTQ people than you think,” said Hsu. “When [people] see the show or meet someone who is LGBTQ, it really changes their perception about [the] community.”

“LGBTQ students are like any other,” said Ms. Fuentecilla. “They may feel bad, they may feel confused, weird or wrong, but it’s okay to be gay.”