The Student News Site of Azle High School

The Sting

The Student News Site of Azle High School

The Sting

The Student News Site of Azle High School

The Sting

OPINION: Beyond The Gender Spectrum

The Realities That Trans and Non Binary Students Face
A student recently posted a video on social media of burning a GSA poster.

Nex Benedict, a high school student in Oklahoma, was attacked by a group of cis-female students in the girls’ bathroom Feb. 7 and committed suicide the next day. Nex used they/them pronouns and faced continuous bullying at school for identifying as nonbinary.

Unfortunately, this is the reality for countless nonbinary and transgender students at school because of their gender identity. This is something that needs to change so that all students feel accepted in their school environment.

Students who bully others because of their gender identity don’t understand the effect it has on their peers behind closed doors. Over time, that bullying can continue to build up until a student simply can’t take it anymore.

“The reality that trans and nonbinary students face in schools, especially in conservative schools is terrifying,” senior Amethyst Thompson said. “I’m a part of that group as well, and it is very terrifying for me because I will hear students say very hurtful things, and Nex had to face was a lot of bullying similar to what we have to face. Bullying can lead to suicide and the people who do bully others aren’t fully aware of the effect that has on us. We’re just here to be students and we’re here to learn, we’re not here to be persecuted.”

It is also important to note that schools in more conservative areas have higher rates of bullying based on gender identity compared to more liberal areas. There is something to be said about this and how political environments can affect students and how they treat others in school.

While conservative schools do have a higher percentage of bullying because of someone’s gender identity, there are still people in conservative schools who support transgender and nonbinary students’ gender and respective pronouns.

“The generational perpetuation of hate in conservative schools needs to stop because it’s taking lives,” sophomore Brady Danford said.

To help combat the sad reality transgender and nonbinary students face, some campuses have inclusive clubs to allow students to form a we, coming community to express themselves how they want without fear of being bullied or criticized.

“In GSA we are trying to spread awareness of what we face in a respectful way,” senior Ezra Steward said. ”We also want to give people a safe space to be themselves with no judgment.”

Campuses should continue to work toward encouraging inclusivity for all students no matter their gender identity. A student should be provided with the support and acceptance they need in their life, which can have a huge impact on their mental health, physical well-being and self-esteem.

“What Nex had to face was a lot of bullying and that’s not safe for any student,” Amethyst said. “We’re supposed to be safe at school, however, that’s not the case. We’re hardly ever safe anymore.”

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Lily Hudman
Lily Hudman, Associate Editor
Hi, I'm Lily! I love soccer and running. My favorite color is forest green and I am 15.

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