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Outspoken: Jesse
Leonard

Outspoken: Jesse
Leonard

964-jesse-leonard

I used to think harassment was something students did to other students. That changed earlier this year after I came out to my principal at Thorp High in Wisconsin. He asked me questions like "Did you ever do anything with a woman?" "How old were you when you first experimented with a guy?" and "Do you know where you go when you die?"

A week after that, I was wearing a T-shirt that read "Let's get one thing straight: I'm not."

I asked a female teacher, "So what do think of my shirt?" She looked at it and laughed, then asked, "Do you really think that people are born that way?" I said, "Um...yeah!" She told me, "I think homosexuality is a sin," and that "God doesn't make people that way; the devil does." I said, "I'm sorry you feel that way," and walked out of school with so much rage inside me that I just wanted to let go of the steering wheel as I sped home crying.

Educators should not be forcing their views on us and prying into our personal lives. We have enough to deal with at school with peer pressure, and if you're an LGBT teen, it's harder still. I have been talking with some organizations and other teachers, and I am hoping to soon file a harassment complaint against my school. I want teenagers to know there are organizations that specialize in dealing with LGBT teens and discrimination at school. If gay teens face discrimination, they should do something, because we all have the right to feel safe at school.

30 Years of Out100Out / Advocate Magazine - Jonathan Groff & Wayne Brady

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