Going back to school has never been such a transitional time in a gay teen’s life the way it is now. Just because you get all of your school supplies and your backup doesn’t mean that you’re necessarily ready for school. You need to know the rights you have at school, and you need to make sure that you’re getting your rights upheld at all times.
You see, it’s all about fighting for what’s right, not just taking whatever’s told to you. Every school has a Handbook with the obligations that every student must be bound by. Reading it can give you insight into how things are handled. You also want to make sure that you’re making school officials aware of any problems that you’re having. This isn’t just a nice sentiment — so many abusive statements and actions against gay teens occur because no one knows about it. You are going to deal with some teachers that may turn the other way because you’re gay, but you can’t worry about that. You have to keep fighting for yourself until you find a teacher that will back you up. You also need to realize the chain of power in your school. Just because a few teachers don’t get along well with you doesn’t mean that you have no allies or that no one will speak up for you.
If you can actually check out who’s on your side, you’ll get more insight. Don’t rush to getting angry every time someone says something nasty to you. It’s not easy to deal with, and we’re definitely not trying to downplay your emotions. But when you make yourself open to what they have to say, you’re letting the negativity in. There are straight people that are bullied as well. Bullying is a big issue for teens in general, and it can be downright nasty. You just need to focus more on the bigger picture ahead of you.
Why would you ever want to stop fighting for your rights? We’re not saying to stop at all, here. We’re saying that you need to avoid getting soaked in negativity. When people are attacking you, a firm order to stop is the way to go. If they escalate the situation, then you need to make sure that you get someone in a position of authority on the case. You can’t try to fight all of the battles and expect to win. Why not think about where you’re going next? You will definitely have a better chance at getting people over to your side, when you know the rights that you are supposed to have in the first place.
Realize that the school environment means that your rights may be a bit different than what you expect. For example, you’re not being singled out if everyone else is subject to random locker searchers, but you may be singled out if no one else has gotten searched but you have. It’s a thin line, but it’s a distinction that matters.
Make sure that you really look into this type of thing. It’s easy to say you will, but it’s also easy to back down and accept whatever slop people are trying to serve you. Fight back in style!