Crimson Chronicle Reporter
In 2021 many people have been comfortable coming out as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. A large percentage of those are youth ranging from ages 13-24 years old. “Over a quarter (26%) of youth reportedly identify as nonbinary, with 50% of those who said they were nonbinary also identifying as transgender,” according to the website THEM. At Hollywood High school many of the staff members have described the school as a welcoming environment when asked about the topic of transgender and non-binary students.
There were many different points of view when it came to staff as well as students. But what all of them had in common was that they understood what these gender identities were. “ I believe I do know, but I feel like I’m always learning, you know,” said A-G Counselor Sheila Richman.
Some things that Hollywood High does to accommodate trans and non-binary students include the LGBTQ club, which is run by social studies teacher Michael Bitran, the Wellness Center, and Staff have even recommended looking into the LGBTQ center close which is located on Schrader Boulevard . Another helpful resource that not only the school but the district has for students is a bulletin with resources.
“The district has bulletins and training outlining specific guidelines to support all students including those who identify as LGBTQ+, transgender, non-binary, with the use of preferred names, to ensure there isn’t any discrimination,” said Assistant Principal Catrisa Booker.
Some ways that the school helps make the trans and non-binary students more comfortable is allowing said students to get their name changed on the system as well as what they identify as. The steps one would take to get their name changed in the system are to go to room 411, also known as the attendance office, and fill out a form with a parent or legal guardian.
Yet there are some flaws when it comes to the name change in the system, “My name stuff, in the system, and all that is kind of terrible, ” said NMA student Elliot DeFrate.
Along with the name change on the system, some of the faculty expressed what they believe can improve to make not only trans and non-binary students but also students of the LGBTQ feel more comfortable is having more involvement and information with the staff. “Some staff here have preconceived, old ideas,” said Richman. “ Now’s the perfect time to open that right up. If that means training and by training I mean, interesting training you know not things that we watch on our laptop that, like you’re doing something else while you’re doing an interesting interactive training, maybe with, you know, members of that community that may be from the LGBTQ Center.”
Hollywood High’s atmosphere is “ So unique in that sense of I see a lot of people be themselves. And I think that’s so empowering,” said PSA Counselor Sandra Cervantes, “And that’s why I say like I think a lot of it has to do with the culture that you guys have set up that you guys have established here.”
Students at Hollywood High, have created a safe space, whether you find that with teachers, staff, the LGBTQ+ club, or even your peers, there is always someone you can find help from.“ I do all I can. And I also like the term brave space,” said Bitran.