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The Current

The Current

Bruins: BR welcomes its LGBTQ+ community

Junior Scout Pettitt and Senior Julia Halverson goof off during lunch. Photo by Kalei Owen

Attraction comes in all kinds of forms. Nearly everyone experiences it and feels about themselves differently. At Bear River, students believe that many or their peers are accepting of people who consider themselves to be part of the LGBTQ+ community, short for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, plus more.

Some students believe this to be true.

“I think most of Bear River is [accepting],” Sophomore and President of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), Emily Telles, said. “There are a lot of derogatory terms where it’s a joke, so I don’t think a lot of people know that can affect someone. … It doesn’t affect me because I know they’re just joking. … I think, overall, people are just positive.”

One of Bear River’s counselors, Bethany Williams, said that she agrees with this.

“I would say, generally speaking, from an adult’s perspective, yes,” she said. “Bear River is accepting of the LGBTQ+ community. We kind of pride ourselves in that. … I know that there are certain populations on campus that are potentially homophobic and not accepting, but we aren’t getting any specific reports about that.”

While many do believe that Bear River’s community is very accepting of people who are considered LGBTQ+, there are some people, such as Sophomore and Co-President of the GSA, Mateo Batula, who have had different experiences.

“I’ve heard lots of derogatory terms being used towards the community,” he said. “Especially people not really knowing, just going with the idea that it’s okay to say that about people.”

Some, like Telles, have even personally experienced this.

“Once,” she said. “It wasn’t very big, he apologized and said that he didn’t really mean that.”

Others have been treated much worse.

“I’ve been called f***** a couple times,” said Sophomore Amber Bell. “That was a little while ago, and then people just saying rude stuff to me in general.”

However, it doesn’t just stop at words.

“Not always being seen as an equal, or it is often seen as a choice to be LGBT, when it’s obviously not,” said Sophomore Eden Douglas.

However, some feel more open here with programs such as GSA.

“A positive is definitely GSA,” Telles said. ”I was in it last year, and I just love the overall atmosphere. One of my aspirations was to become Co-President with Mateo Batula, and it actually happened. So, now, it’s really fun to run it and get new people.”

Students, like Junior Scout Pettitt, agreed with Telles.

“The GSA club is really nice,” she said. “They’re very accepting of everyone. It’s really great that we have one at this school.”

Some even believe that just having the club helps promote safety and acceptance in the school’s community.

“We don’t have a large participation rate with students that I know on our campus that belong to the community,” Williams said. “So, for me, that tells me that our campus is pretty safe, but I think … having the club provides safety for those students as they know that if they wanted to come every Thursday at lunch, they could hop in.”

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Bruins: BR welcomes its LGBTQ+ community