Warning: This article is extremely gay


Actor Ian Mckellen is an active advocate for gay rights.

When rumors begin to float around a school that one of the attending students may be homosexual, there can be an array of reactions from his peers. More often than not, attitudes change and the rumored homosexual is viewed differently because he is a homosexual. His friends may start to look for signs: how he speaks, how he dresses, and particularly how he acts with members of the same sex.

Unfortunately, this is the embodiment of prejudice and misconception regarding homosexuals in society and particularly young teens today. Somewhere along the line, people began to tie sexuality to every other aspect of a person’s life, such as his interests, the flamboyance of his personality, his clothing style, etc. This possibly began with the brave few who dared to venture into interests outside of their gender roles. It was wrong for a girl to play football, for instance, just as it was wrong for a boy to enjoy ballet.

Today, it is common for someone’s sexuality to be judged based on nearly anything she does. Teens may decide their peer’s sexuality based on something as vague as suspicion or something as miniscule as demeanor. For example, on several occasions, students have murmured about another student being homosexual based on the way he walks. These attitudes are the epitome of the most outrageous misconceptions lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) teens have to face today.

Sexuality, to some, is still a very strange concept. While some teens have learned to accept that some people are straight and some people are gay, and that’s just how he is, to others, homosexuality is still viewed as very, very strange. Worst of all, when a teen is recognized as homosexual, he sees tremendous amounts of prejudice based on the predisposition that now his sexuality must be at the forefront of every aspect of his life.

Over my years as a teenager, a common “complaint” I’ve heard regarding sexuality is talk of one’s discomfort because a homosexual might find them attractive. Particularly outrageous, I can’t count the times I’ve heard, “I’m not comfortable with knowing that he/she will be checking me out in the locker room all the time.”

Truthfully, just because someone is a boy or girl doesn’t make him or her instantly attractive to a gay or lesbian teenager. LGBTQ teens have standards too, just like every heterosexual has standards. LGBTQ teens are more than capable of being around members of the same-sex without hitting on them, checking them out, or thinking inappropriate things about them– just because someone is homosexual in no way whatsoever means that she has some kind of hyperactive attraction to everyone with the same body as she.

While there are homosexuals who are very adamant about expressing their sexuality, this is only a small fraction of the LGBTQ community. The truth is that someone’s sexuality hardly defines who he is. He doesn’t wear it around like some kind of rainbow cape, and he certainly doesn’t try to force anyone to be like him, either. In fact, there are plenty of successful figures throughout history and today that have made enormous accomplishments, regardless of their sexuality.

For instance, I’m sure almost everyone’s heard of Gandalf the White? If you’re not a “Lord of the Rings” fan, then you may have heard of Magneto, the main villain in the X-Men Series. These characters, despite their differences, have two things in common. One being that their roles in these films are extremely powerful and even masculine, the other being that they were played by the same homosexual actor, Ian McKellen. McKellen is the perfect example of a homosexual citizen whose sexuality is definitely not at the forefront of his character.

Although I do recognize that actors may not be the most influential persons of all time, there have been plenty of homosexual figures throughout history who have made accomplishments entirely regardless of their sexuality. For instance, Allen Ginsberg, the famous American poet who wrote several famous poems including “Howl” and “America,” or another famous writer, Oscar Wilde. Activists for LGBTQ rights are even extending into professional sports: on Oct. 17, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe agreed to pose in an issue of OUT Magazine to display his advocacy for LGBTQ rights.

Contrary to popular belief, sexuality may be a very defining part of one’s personal life, but it’s hardly an overt character trait that others should have to fear being overwhelmed with upon interaction. LGBTQ youths are more than capable of relating to things outside of their sexuality; they can like the same video games, movies, sports, etc. as heterosexual youths without their sexuality playing a prominent part in it.

The lives of LGBTQ teens in high school can be unbearable– over the past few years, suicide rates among LGBTQ youths have gone up. Truthfully, nobody deserves the type of abuse that many LGBTQ teens see, especially when their sexuality doesn’t dictate every aspect of their lives. So, deviate from the ignorant misconceptions next time those rumors begin to float around. Believe me, there’s absolutely nothing to worry about if your friend, brother, sister, cousin, or just someone you see in the hallway sometimes is gay. Remind yourself that he is not just a homosexual. This teen may be a football or a volleyball player,he may enjoy theatre or band, he may be part of a variety of different clubs, but most importantly, he’s a person, and should be granted the same chances to make friends and live his life as everyone else. If everyone makes an effort to be more accepting of LGBTQ youths, and less judgemental as well, LGBTQ teens would be given the opportunity to enjoy high school. They wouldn’t have to run out the doors as soon as school is out to avoid the strange looks or the taunts; they won’t have to worry about the nasty rumors that may be murmured behind their backs because of their sexuality, and they won’t have to fear going another day at the hands of their peers.