Being LGBT in school can be difficult, but once you’re out of the institution of education things get a whole lot better
When you’re in school, coming to terms with your own LGBT identity can be difficult. There’s often a taboo around anything non-heteronormative, with terms like ‘gay’ being bandied about by teenagers as an insult and offensive meme’s pervading your life online.
Irish schools with strict religious policies can make coming out seem next to impossible. And on top of that you’re probably going through puberty which means drastic hormonal changes, mood swings, growing pains, and more.
But once you finish school and enter adulthood, the situations you used to dread facing on a daily basis (like sitting beside a bully in class or having to wear a uniform that doesn’t fit with your gender identity) become distant memories, quickly fading into the past.
Here are some of the things that get better for Irish LGBT after they leave school.
After you finish school, you never have to wear those hideous uniforms ever again (unless you’ve decided to dress as a school kid for Halloween in a super ironic kind of way decades down the line).
If part of your gender expression was being hampered by the strict rules your school enforced, then this is going to be one of the best things that gets better after school.
You get to choose the clothes you wear every day. Look at Ivan Fahy, the Irish androgynous model! Throughout school, he was unable to express himself properly, but when graduating college, he wore high heels. How’s that for a pointed improvement – we like your style Ivan!
In school, you don’t get to choose the people who you are surrounded by for the half the waking day. For a lot of people, changing schools and classes is not an option. If those around you are not supportive of LGBT people, if they’re not a good ally, then this can make attending school difficult.
But when you finish school, and start working, or head to college or go travelling, you get to choose the people you see every day. If you didn’t get to hang around with supportive, understanding people in school, you can make a choice to do so afterwards. Your school friends may not have accepted your sexuality or gender identity, but once you finish you get to decide who you spend time with.
And you know what they say: who you surround yourself with once you finish school is an expression of the person you aspire to be.
Click below to find out what else gets better for young LGBT people when they finish school.