PGN Special Edition Coverage

The return to school opens a perfect opportunity to try something new. Whether it is a new sport, or maybe an interesting class, people should strive to challenge themselves whenever possible. For some LGBTQ+ students, school is not necessarily the safest place for them to be. However, with a positive attitude and the motivation to affect their community, students can make the upcoming school year one to remember.

After a long day of reading, writing, doing algebra and other stressful assignments in school, LGBTQ teenagers need a safe and fun place to hang out and just be teenagers. Becoming active in the gay community is the first step to challenging the injustice that LGBTQ youth face every day. Thanks to the progressive nature and size of Philadelphia, there are several free activities and programs for LGBTQ youth to overcome the challenges they face.

The queer community is just about the most tolerant and accepting group of minorities out there, wouldn’t you say? You’re a gay man? Welcome! Lady-loving lesbian? Get your fine self over here! Not comfortable with what’s in your pants? I totally accept that! Yes, queer people of all kinds certainly are a beautiful family. But what about when it comes to bisexuals and asexuals? Why is it exactly that we’re so quick to welcome and accept our out and proud gay, lesbian and trans friends, but just as eager to turn away, judge and shame our a- and bisexy brethren?

When I was younger, I was frightened by the question, “Are you gay or are you straight?” I would respond by asking that person to rephrase that question without the attached labels. So in other words, I would prefer to be asked if I like males or females. Saying that brings less confusion for me because, in some ways, I am both gay and straight, and I believe that it is the same for many other people as well. This can happen when someone’s sexual orientation or sexual attraction does not match their romantic orientation or romantic attraction.

I remember so clearly putting on my favorite jean jacket to match a pair of my favorite jeans for the next photo I’d anticipated taking. Flashback to me in this well-known industry photographer’s dressing room with pride — ready to be myself, and wear what felt comfortable to get out in the acting market and sell my brand — only for the kind-hearted photographer to break it to me that I had to remove the jacket because it looked “too gay.”

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