My experiences as an LGBT person in Sartell High School


LGBT Flag Waving In The Sky

So before I start this article today, I want to just give some context from where I am writing this article from. I have been openly gay here in Sartell High School since my sophomore year, and most people who know me, know this point. I’ve had a lot of both positive and negative experiences relating to being LGBT here in Sartell, and I would like to highlight them here.

To start, I would say that I’ve had a lot of positive experiences as an LGBT person at Sartell. A lot of students in the school are very supportive of LGBT people and have been very accepting. None of my friends have ever made nasty remarks about me being gay and most general acquaintances of mine have never made it an issue. I am very happy about this, and I am happy to see a majority of students have been accepting and have not made it an issue.

However, just because a majority of students have been supportive, doesn’t mean there haven’t been significant times where people have been bigoted or have personally harassed me over the issue. The most significant harassment I have received was in regards to what I wore back in my sophomore year. I would wear a leather jacket during the wintertime during my sophomore year, and whenever I would come across one student in the hallways, this student would yell at me that “Gays can’t wear leather!” I never understood why he would yell this at me, but it was a rather uncomfortable experience for me and one that I still cannot get over.

Another form of weird targeting for being gay I have experienced is about me becoming a token “gay friend” of many people in Sartell. After coming out, many people would try to become more friendly with me and try to become my friend, but it never truly felt genuine. A lot of it had to just do with me being gay and people wanting to have a gay friend. It always felt disingenuous to me and was something that made me feel like people only wanted to associate with me for being gay, and not because people thought I was a person they wanted to hang out with. 

In addition to this direct form of harassment, I have also heard a lot of slurs and negative comments about LGBT people around Sartell High School. Many use these slurs as a general way to criticize people or things while others just use them to make off-comment remarks about gay people. It is a rather sad thing to know that, while Sartell is becoming so much better on these issues, it still has a significant amount of this casual hate.

So overall, I would say that being LGBT has been a mixed bag here in Sartell, and while we are definitely better than a lot of schools on the issue, there is still a lot of work that needs to be done to make Sartell a more welcoming and accepting place.