By Shania Kuo
The battle for civil rights has been waged throughout the United States for decades. Whether it be over race or gender, the struggle for civil rights continues well into the 21st century. Oyster Bay High School is contributing to the civil rights battles through its Gay-Straight Alliance/Sexuality and Gender Awareness Club.
In the process of changing its name, GSA/SAGA is aiming to encompass the entire LGBT+ community instead of only the most well-known members.
A person’s sexuality is one of the most vulnerable topics for an individual to discuss. Think about a time when someone told you, “That’s not ladylike,” or asked, “Are you a man or not?” These statements hold more weight than any other insult because it forces us to question whether we are living by social norms. Are we “normal?”
Being different is frightening in a society where humans can abandon each other at any second. Someone’s race and job are commonly spoken about in conversation, but sexuality is purposely ignored in most discussions. After all, revealing an intimate part of a human being to another requires a significant amount of trust.
When people do decide to share information about their sexuality, many find themselves in a sea of discrimination. According to the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, 34% of youth were bullied on school property while 28% were bullied online.
In Oyster Bay High School, GSA/SAGA is not only fighting against discrimination and harassment for its hometown, but for LGBT+ youth all over the nation. Creating a safe place for security in school environments where harassment is likely otherwise is vital to protecting the mental health of students everywhere.
However, GSA/SAGA is the only club representing the civil rights of people. It is crucial people spread awareness and stand up for what is right. No matter a person’s race, creed, color, or sexuality, no human deserves to have his or her rights trampled on.