LGBT love

A Dose of Pride: The Iowa State Daily's Pride Month series throughout June.

Editor's note: The following article contains mention of homophobic slurs.

My high school was terrible about protecting LGBTQIA+ students from bullying and inequality. From the moment I came out at school, I was bullied and harassed. I was called "d*ke" in the hallways, harassed for being in the locker room after gym class, pushed into walls and worse. It got really bad junior and senior year.

During my junior year, a girl in my gym class told me to kill myself because I was already going to hell for being gay. She tried to get me banned from being allowed in the locker room, and her parents told the school they didn’t want her in class with a d*ke or f*g.

When I reported her for bullying, the vice principal told me she had every right to say those things to me because of her freedom of speech, and what did I expect since I offended her religion? The next year, senior year, a group of guys started messing with my car in the school parking lot. They started with letting the air out of my tires, and when I didn’t respond, they escalated to slashing my tires. I went through four sets of tires my senior year.

I was also pushed into walls when they walked by and constantly called names. The school refused to do anything and suggested I stop driving to school and just take the bus like underclassmen. Except for the car tires, I stopped letting it bother me. I joined the Iowa Pride Network and started advocating for other LGBTQIA+ teens, and it made me feel better. It taught me to not care what other people think about my sexuality and my life.

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