LGBTQ students propose ideas for change

Offering suggestions, LGBTQ students feel that certain changes would make the school more accepting. LGBTQ students often face adversities and feel as though the changes would create a more inclusive environment.


Painting for peace…Painting rocks, members of the GSA club, sophomore Wally Cwymar (Left) and sophomore Logan McCormick (Right), do an art activity during a meeting. The members meet every other Tuesday and express themselves through different art activities and meet people within the school that they can connect with. Photo by Allyson Fitzpatrick.

Promoting comfort and safety at the high school, LGBTQ students are offering suggestions for change including pronoun use and bathroom use to allow for a more respectful environment.
Diversity in gender and sexual orientations is growing at the high school. Several students hold the idea that changes need to be made to the school’s operations for there to be full inclusivity for people of all orientations.
One change that some students see as beneficial is to have some single-stalled, gender-neutral bathrooms throughout the school.
According to sophomore Roman Craig, these bathrooms would allow for more privacy, would help more people feel comfortable, and would help to ensure that “there isn’t bullying happening in the locker rooms and the bathrooms,” Craig said.
Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club Co-Advisor Jon Timmons said that while many teachers at the high school are open about discussion on many topics, gender orientation isn’t typically one of them.
One of Timmon’s goals for the school is that the faculty and administrators are educated about the LGBTQ community.
In the future, he would like to hold educational seminars for faculty where they are able to learn “about understanding LGBTQ youth.” His goal is for the teachers to feel comfortable with the topic and be able to create an environment where students can truly be themselves.
According to Timmons, introducing oneself with pronouns and adaptability in using pronouns is very uncommon within the school, and some students feel that the Souderton community should begin to normalize it.
Sophomore Wally Cwymar feels that students should be able to tell teachers their pronouns and that teachers should be understanding of them and be able to use them.
There are some changes that could be made to help LGBTQ students feel comfortable with who they are.
Within the education system, both Timmons and Craig feel that it is important that students are taught about people in history that were a part of the LGBTQ community.
According to Craig, while students learn about and celebrate different cultures and communities in history, students don’t often learn about the LGBTQ community.
Timmons agrees. “There were big people in history that we just don’t talk about,” Timmons said.
Craig said that another place where this topic could be discussed is in health classes, where students could learn about different orientations and gender identities.
The (GSA) Club is an outlet for students to express themselves and find a place where they feel that they truly belong.
“The biggest goal of these meetings is to have a space where those students feel like they can really be themselves, or explore who they think they are or emerging into, in a place that feels very safe,” Timmons said.
The GSA Club meets every other Tuesday after school and anyone is welcome to the meetings.