With the population at DVC growing more and more each year, another group that will continue to increase at DVC is the LGBTQ+ community.
According to the Williams Institute of Law, there are about 9 million Americans who classify themselves as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. LGBTQ+ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and plus is to make sure that no one feels left out when talking about the diverse community.
“I feel like the LGBTQ+ community helps build DVC culture because it opens up this sense of inclusiveness,” said junior Amber ,who identifies as pansexual.
The only club that DVC offers that is specifically catered to the LGBTQ+ community is Pink and Lavender, which is a safe place for students who want to learn more about the LGBTQ+ community.
Although DVC strives to promote an accepting environment, some students still don’t feel welcome or accepted at school due to rude comments and jokes they have heard around campus.
“I feel like there are a lot of transphobic people at this school who make homophobic and transphobic jokes,” said Chandler, a DVC freshman who identifies as transgender.
Many students and staff believe that in order for students to be more respectful and accepting of the LGBTQ+ community an advisory lesson should be taught as well as a LGBTQ+ CD. Not only would the lesson recognize the community, but also help open others’ eyes to accept and support those who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community.
“We should just make it more known that there are LGBTQ+ students,” Chandler added.
Overall discrimination at DVC is something that is extremely intolerant and is classified as bullying.
“I don’t think there will ever be a huge instance of discrimination because of how we’ve built DV culture generally around acceptance, diversity, and understanding different backgrounds…I definitely think on the front end people are really accepting and okay with it,” Amber said. “It’s really normalized [to be part of the LGBTQ+ community].”
When people describe the LGBTQ+ community you tend to hear the phrase “coming out the closet” which is used when describing people’s self-disclosure of their sexual orientation or of their gender identity. Some students have an easy coming out experience with friends and family accepting them with open arms.
“I’m very lucky to have both of my parents who are very tolerant and very respectful of me,” said Kieran, a freshman who identifies as bisexual. Kieran stated that he had a rather pleasant coming out experience.
Everyone’s coming out story is different and unique in its own special way. For some people coming out can be easy and refreshing, but for some it can be an emotional rollercoaster filled with heartbreak and confusion.
“ I tried to tell my parents but they didn’t really accept it and they just kinda pushed it in the back of their minds and told me I wasn’t transgender… I haven’t tried to come out to them since, out of fear,” said Chandler as he recalled his rather painful coming out experience.
DVC will continue to strive to ensure every student feels safe no matter their sexuality or gender.
“Find someone who they are comfortable with to talk to because you don’t want to bottle things up,” said David Wilson, a teacher who identifies as a member of the LGBTQ+ community. “I know that there are teachers here that have gone through obstacles. Just knowing that someone went through the same thing as you makes you feel comfortable.”