The LGBTQ+ Community Seeks Love and Allyship at Herriman High


The LGBTQIA+ community is a vast spectrum containing all types of people, and it continues to grow. More people have felt safe to be as eccentric as they wish with their gender expression in recent years due to the rise in support through social media. It is becoming normalized throughout the US, in other countries around the world, and inside our schools.


Our school has strived in recent years to become the most welcoming family possible. Herriman High has had an active GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) Club, and the administration has expressed their zero exception policy for any form of bullying–including bullying for gender or sexuality. Lin Flores (she/they), an LGBTQ+ teacher at Herriman High, expressed that they felt if she was to express themself in the way that they were most comfortable she would not be as respected by students, colleagues, and parents. Over the years they were able to find stable support inside Herriman High. Flores explained “I found acceptance where I was most fearful of finding it. Now that I am totally comfortable and confident, I feel like my students, queer or not, respect that.” She has been open about their gender identity at Herriman High since 2018 and is confident with herself. She is positive that the people surrounding them will support her completely.


Many LGBTQ+ students at Herriman High still feel like the school as a whole, as well as individual students can do better at being good allies. When students were asked about their experience one student stated, “So many teachers are very accepting, but the fact is that people who aren’t already accepting the people of the GSA probably never will. I want to be able to change people’s minds about the community, but there are so many people who refuse to see others’ opinions.” According to the LGBTQ+ students at Herriman High, it is certain students’ unwillingness to learn that makes them feel unsupported at school. One student suggested that the school must make more of an effort to educate the student body. 


They [the student] stated, “…the school administration doesn’t talk about it enough. They don’t spread information and it feels like they are neglecting the LGBTQIA.” As a school, there should be a bigger effort to make the LGBTQ+ students seen and heard.


Allyship in the LGBTQ+ community can be categorized as supporting the community, and not being afraid to stand up for their rights. About allyship, Flores said, “Individually, I think the best thing allies can do is listen. When you have a queer friend, be willing to listen to their experiences. The second best thing allies can do is defend something if a queer person cannot.” Lin Flores also expressed the importance of removing slurs from our vocabularies. They encourage explaining why slurs are harmful to people who might be less educated on the subject as well.


Many LGBTQ+ students and staff have expressed how important it is to be open-minded and not be afraid to ask questions. Concerning what the school can do better as allies, Flores stated, “The more visible queer people are, the more people who aren’t comforable with us (because of their biases) will see we aren’t weird, messed up, or preditorary. We exist the same as others. We aren’t gross, or damaged. We are beautiful, capable, and here to stay.” Their goal is for the people in the LGBTQ+ community to be seen as people rather than as monsters or something to fix. The LGBTQ+ community has come a long way, and it plans to keep growing on the road to self-expression and acceptance.