Eye of the Tiger

Students support, accept transitioning friends

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BY GABI HUTSON AND CLAIRE OERTLY
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Roseville High School’s transgender community has been attempting to shine more light on the topic of LGBTQ members in hopes to provide a more safe and respectful environment for all those who are involved. RHS transgender students ranging from all grade levels are currently coming together to support one another through each of their own transitions.

Senior Jax Solorio has been aware he was transgender since his sophomore year of high school. Many underclassmen look up to Solorio because he stood up for the transgender community and helped spread more knowledge and awareness of the group last year when he spoke about it during the annual Peer Helping Respect Assembly.

“I’m just kind of – a person. I’m not doing anything special, but I like being able to be a role model for people who don’t necessarily have a voice,” Solorio said. “A lot of the younger kids feel more comfortable because everyone at this school including the faculty, they get it more… I think just being open and honest about it has really made a difference here.”

Many supporters of the LGBTQ communities believe that it is crucial to be accepting of all people, despite gender afflictions or sexual orientation.

“I think it’s important that we, as a society, do all we can to bring more understanding to an issue and a group of people who often aren’t met with understanding,” Solorio’s mother Karen Solorio said. “It’s important that trans people are understood and respected, rather than rejected.”

To help raise further awareness, juniors Alexia Wade and Eva Lewis have been planning to create a documentary on the lives of transgender kids at RHS, following them through the transition of some and the topic of transgender lives in general. According to Wade and Lewis, their goal is to spread awareness about what transgender kids deal with and to show trans kids there is someone there for them.

“We’re getting more information out there about teenagers who go through this process, what struggles they face, so that other teenagers going through the same thing and have something or someone to look up to or someone to go to and see that they’re not alone in this,” Lewis said.

Other students at RHS are looking to help anyone who needs the support, whether it be transitioning or just figuring things out.

“It’s okay if you don’t know if you’re trans– If you are, go for it. Don’t lay low, just explain that you’re feeling a certain way, have your friends try to help you find who you are,” another member of the LGBTQ community and sophomore, Daniel Thompson-Divine said.

According to freshman Skylar Harris, several LGBTQ members seeking acceptance find it difficult telling their parents of their wish to transition.

“I was more intimidated by my parents than my friends… parents can be really rough,” Harris said. “I was planning on telling them but they figured it out and they weren’t really accepting. They were like ‘no, we named you this specific name, that’s how it has to be,’ but over time, they eased into it and my worries have been eliminated.”

Harris has dealt with disrespectful teachers in the past, but finds RHS to be much more accepting. His former teacher refused to call him by his preferred name and pronouns, but he has not come across the same problem once coming to high school.

“I was really happy to know this school is so accepting,” Harris said. “My counselor said this school is trying to be as accepting and modern as possible, keeping up with the times. Everything is changing and it’s making me really happy. I emailed my teachers and told them I was transgender and they’re like ‘oh okay!’ I’m so glad that Roseville’s so accepting to who you want to be. It put a smile on my face.”

Other transgender kids at RHS say they have endured similar difficulties as Harris relating to unaccepting parents and deliberate misuse of pronouns. It’s things like these that Harris said make transgender kids feel unvalidated and rejected by their peers.

“You have to respect their pronouns, otherwise they’ll feel really really crappy,” Harris said. “Sometimes trans kids even look to suicide if their identity is not validated. They’ll kill themselves, and that’s just a really sad thing.”

Some students have taken their transition to not only a mental level, but a physical one as well. Testosterone pills, creams and injections are all available to help with physical transitions. According to Harris, he will be starting his testosterone injections next Monday and is excited about taking the next step.

“The pill, I heard hurts your liver and the cream just doesn’t really work, so I’m going to be taking the shot form of it,” Harris said. “It comes in this little vile, it’s liquidy, that’s what I’ve seen, you just stick a needle in and poof – You’re done.”

According to RHS teacher and Ashley White, there may be a transgender support club created in the future. The club’s goal would be to help LGBTQ members be easier respected by their peers.

“As humans, I think we can do better than that. I just wanna make sure that all transgender kids are okay and they have a place to go,” Harris said. “If they don’t have a place to go, they feel trapped, they don’t know what to do. For anybody that wants to help, please do. Just be sure if you know a trans kid, be there for them, they just wanna be accepted.”

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