Fear is what most transgender students experience every time they begin a new day. With more and more people coming out as transgender, this is a recurrence that cannot be ignored. According to UCLA’s Williams Institute, over 1.4 million Americans classify as transgender. A survey showed over 1.5% of high school students deem themselves transgender. Sadly, more than 30% of the LGBT community attempted suicide in the last year, while looking for acceptance. This is a battle that teenagers in Hillcrest may be currently fighting.
With Hillcrest being an extremely diverse high school with students of all shapes and sizes, it is no surprise that the mass majority of the population accept transgender students as if they were anyone else. Even though there are some students who are uncomfortable with their friends coming out as transgender; many accept their friends and the decisions they make, as well as using their preferred pronouns and names. According to one transgender student, who wishes to remain anonymous, “It was way harder to tell my parents that I was transgender, then my friends at Hillcrest.”, he was asked if the relationship between him and his friends remained the same, after he came out as transgender, he simply smiled and said that nothing has changed and is glad to be accepted by his friends who he greatly cherishes. As for non-transgender students, mass majority were extremely accepting of transgender students and most admitted having a transgender friend.
They then went on to say that if someone were to discriminate against their transgender friend, they would defend them at all costs.
It is the same story with the teachers. As Mr. Quiros, a Teachers of Tomorrow teacher, states “ I don’t treat any of my students differently, we are all here to learn despite our differences.”. Most of the teachers interviewed have expressed that they might not even know if they have a transgender student in one of their classes, adding on to say that sexual preference does not apply to the, or should not, affect your life in the classroom. Mr. Choe, a Media, Arts and Music teacher, admits that he has taught a transgender student in the past and he would only treat them differently in a positive way. He goes on by stating that he would make accommodations for transgender students to feel comfort in a effective comfortable learning environment in the classroom. As transgender students are trying to find themselves and who they want to become, having a comfortable learning environment making it enjoyable as well as, taking some stress off of learning.