The Westwind

No homo

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Throughout the duration of studying at Arvada West Senior High, I have really tried to be my authentic self. I am sure you have heard this before, but it is true. And, it is not easy. The diversity in the school’s population makes it a melting pot and a unique place to attend school. For me, being openly gay since I was twelve, many homophobic slurs (and gay jokes) are not a surprise to hear. Running the Gay Straight Alliance at this school and being as out as I am does have its consequences…both good and bad.

A common homophobic phrase that I have heard throughout the large, bright halls of school is ‘no homo.’ As Wikipedia defines it, ‘no homo’ is “A phrase used as slang at the end of a sentence to assert the statement spoken by the speaker had no intentional homosexual implications.” The phrase is “added to a statement in order to rid them of a possible homosexual double-entendre.” This phrase is commonly heard if a guy touches another guy on accident; he will immediately say, “No homo” to prove himself that he is not gay.

The fact that people use being gay as a bad adjective shows how little people have come to terms with accepting LGBT+ youth at the school. Many more little comments such as, “That’s gay!” and “Ew, what a gay looking thing!” show that being gay is something that is still looked down upon. This does threaten the way people see the LGBT+ community and it does have an effect on the LGBT+ student body. Making being gay a bad thing can damage LGBT+ students and further complicate what could be an accepting environment.

Comments like these are the reason why 92% of LGBT+ youth hear negative remarks about being lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender, according to the Human Rights Campaign. This also leads to only 64% of LGBT+ youth being out to all their classmates as opposed to just being out to their close friends.

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