COLUMN: Hidden and open pride within schools 


Ellen Dooley

Ellen Dooley, Columnist

There are all forms of life that enter the public school system. There are so many diverse people from diverse lifestyles. But one that has been becoming less taboo in schools is students who identify within the LGBTQIA+ community. As a future educator, seeing and hearing these students is very important. Amplifying their pride can do wonders in these students’ self-esteem and overall experience within the school. 

One thing that has been becoming more common within schools are gender-neutral bathroom. Something as simple as feeling safe and comfortable while going to the bathroom is something members of LGBTQIA+ community have to worry or think about often. If a student cannot use the bathroom, how are they going to focus or do their best within the classroom? 

Opening a gender-neutral bathroom can be considered “hidden pride.” It is not necessarily screaming out to look at what the school did, but it is what should be done. Giving gender nonconforming students a safe place to do a human basic function should be a given, but at the same time, it is a gentle nod, saying we support and see you. Not all schools do this. Not all students are heard. Therefore, it is important to recognize daily functions impact the lives of diverse student populations.  

A way to show “open pride” within a school is having a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance) or a pride club. Any form of these organizations gives students a place and opportunity to discuss issues within their school, community, or own life. Ally students can hear about issues that surround their peers and what they can do amplify their voice or solve a problem.  

This can be considered open pride because of the community it can form within the school. It is a group that can present problems to the student population or school officials. It can also show that a school is trying to become a more accepting school by allowing these students to voice their opinions and just be themselves in the school.  

No student should be afraid to go to school. If a student is afraid to go to school, there is something wrong with that school. No student should be bullied, beaten, threatened, or even killed because of how they identify. The LGBTQIA+ community celebrates being proud of who they are because their community has not always been allowed to. It is important to remember those who have come before and have lost their lives for just being who they are.  

Pride is important in school. Pride should be celebrated not just in June. Every student deserves to go to school in a safe environment no matter their sexual or gender identity.  


Ellen Dooley is a Sophomore Special Education Standard Major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected]