Finding A Safe Place

Destiny Noblitt

Being LGBT+ in this day and age is still scary even though people are a lot more accepting than in the past. It’s even scarier coming out when you go to school, especially public school. A lot of schools have protocols to follow to make LGBT+ students feel more accepted; however, West Brunswick and other Brunswick County Schools do not have official programs or official “safe places” for LGBT+ kids, even though many kids in the district would benefit from it.

“I always tell people to be themselves,” said counselor Nathan Bell. “You have to get you a good strong base of friends. It’s hard being in a school with 1,500 kids, and you feel like you’re different. I always tell them you’re not alone; sometimes it’s just harder to find people who accept you.”

Even with the help of supportive staff and friends, it can still sometimes be hard to feel accepted, especially in a rural area like Brunswick County. People from small towns aren’t always the most accepting because a lot of people are used to what society deems as “traditional.”

“I wasn’t really worried about coming out at school; it was just coming out, in general, that was scary,” said sophomore Joey Nguyen. “I think some of the teachers are accepting, but you can tell that some of the teachers aren’t cool with it, but they don’t ever say anything because they’re at work and they have to be professional.”

For some a safe place can be their sports team, their friend group or maybe even a specific classroom around although some people haven’t found their safe place which is why there are things like “Trevor’s Project,” a non-profit organization that focuses on suicide prevention surrounding the LGBT+ community, especially young lives.