LGBTQ+ Love is not a trend

Mo Murry, Sports Editor

Durango High School is, for the most part, a relatively accepting community for LGBTQ students. Instances of direct homophobic comments or acts are often isolated and miniscule compared to other places. Unfortunately, because directly recognizable acts of discrimination are not prevalent, many people assume that LGBTQ students don’t ever experience homophobia within the DHS community, which simply isn’t the case. One of the most unrecognized forms of degradation of LGBTQ love within the high school is the growing culture of girls who treat identifying with the LGBTQ spectrum as something to make themselves seem edgy or cool, thus perpetuating stereotypes that gay love is a trend, and that being involved with a woman inherently means less than being involved with a man. An increasing number of girls within DHS use the idea of identifying as LGBTQ as a way of complaining when when the boys in their lives are being mean or annoying, or an excuse to cheat on their boyfriends at parties because kissing a girl “doesn’t count”. This creates the harmful situations that portray lesbian love as a fetishized, meaningless publicity stunt. This is extremely degrading to women who genuinely love women, and don’t want themselves or their sexuality to be used as a trophy.  It is important to recognize that there are many sexualities within the LGBTQ spectrum, such as bisexuality and pansexuality, which are often erased and invalidated. It is women who treat sapphic relationships like an inconsequential trend that cause this erasure and further invalidate these identities. Even within the generally supportive Durango community, the process of claiming and accepting and LGBTQ identity can include constant doubt of yourself, fear of your friends treating you differently, anxiety about whether or not your family will accept you, experiencing homophobia around you which leads you to remain closeted, people who reduce your love to a fetish, and in DHS especially, rumors about your identity and your personal life, and your sexuality being treated like a performance and nothing more. Claiming to identify as LGBTQ but only picking and choosing from the positive sides of being a woman who loves women is completely disrespectful to all LGBTQ people and the struggles they face because of their identity.  Recognizing and directly addressing this type of homophobia within our community can help to create a safe, respectful environment for not only LGBTQ kids, but all students in and outside of DHS.