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Filed under Voices

Students Reflect on LGBTQ Climate

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Since the election of America’s newest president, LGBTQ members have become worried about their rights and equality, but a feelings of safety and empowerment can be found inside Central.

“Central is really accepting of it [the LGBTQ community] in my opinion. I’m pretty subtle about it unless people ask me, so it’s not really difficult because I don’t focus on it,” senior Jessica Hunt said. “It’s not a topic that comes up all the time.”

With the help of clubs like the Gay/Straight Alliance, acceptance is spreading throughout the student body. The club is determined to get people thinking about LGBTQ equality. There is still a long way to go, including issues such as transgender bathroom rights and same sex education courses.

All in all, Central should be proud of its achievements and progress in the area of LGBTQ equality.

Unfortunately, other schools in Little Rock have not been as open-minded as Central. Discriminatory actions such as the removal of teachers, banning same-sex couples at school dances like homecoming and/or prom, and the expulsion of students have taken place in local schools towards active LGBTQ members.

“Coming from a school with blatantly homophobic and transphobic teachers and students, I am thrilled to now be part of an accepting school that promotes equality. I have received nothing but love and support at Central, and I’m incredibly grateful for it,” junior Sahana Bettadapura said.

As well as students, teachers also express a sense of safety for LGBTQ students in their educational environments.

“So far Central students and teachers have been very accepting, although I believe there’s always room for improvement. Bisexuals are often seen as confused, indecisive, and unsure of themselves, which is simply untrue,” sophomore Ava Smith said. “Health classes should include sex-ed for LGBTQ students, instead of strictly only informing students on straight sex.”

Central is well known for many things, including its large diversity among students; the LGBTQ community has long strived for equality and Central is a perfect example of that success.

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