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Full Interview with M.T.HHS

Amophrast's picture

This is the full text of the interview I conducted via Skype chat with a freshman at Haverford High School.

[7:45:05 PM] Amophrast: Feel free to talk openly and freely about yourself and your experiences. This information will be published on Serendip, a website that is publicly accessible, but at this point or any point in the future you can choose an alias to go by or request that certain information or excerpts is/are made private. If you do not specify a particular alias, you will be assigned one based on your name, preferred gender (hypen will be used if preferred gender is none), and school. Example, my sister is C.F.HHS

[7:45:25 PM] Amophrast: do you have any questions?

[7:45:28 PM] M.T.HHS: Hmm

[7:45:44 PM] M.T.HHS: Can you have me be M.T.HHS or something with M first

[7:46:36 PM] Amophrast: sure, I will use M.T.HHS

[7:46:47 PM] M.T.HHS: Okay, thanks no more questions!

[7:47:07 PM] Amophrast: How do you perceive of the environment at Haverford High School?

think of it as kind of a campus climate report, and in terms of LGBTQ issues/individuals. For example, comments on bullying, freedom of gender expression, availability of safe spaces, other issues revolving around LGBTQ youth or individuals involved with LGBTQ issues

[7:49:26 PM] M.T.HHS: I think that at HHS there isn't much bullying of LGBTQ individuals, but there definitely is some.  I also know many openly gay, lesbian, or bisexual people, so I'd say that people find the school to be a pretty safe place about your sexuality.  We do have a club to stop this bullying and it's pretty organized with its ideas on how to stop the little bullying that goes on.

[7:50:37 PM] Amophrast: have you witnessed or experience bullying that is targeted towards queer individuals or appropriating slang to non-queer individuals and objects? (i.e. that's so gay, etc) and do you ever see people react to this kind of talk? Either silently, or talking back to the individuals, or talking to others against it?

[7:52:15 PM] M.T.HHS: There are many people that say things like that around school, but I also see many people react to this negatively, normally telling those kids to stop that kind of talk.

[7:52:55 PM] M.T.HHS: But I have never seen someone being hazed or targeted for being openly gay, lesbian, bisexual, or transegender or anything of the sort.

[7:53:17 PM] Amophrast: what do you see as the role of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) in HHS?

[7:56:39 PM] M.T.HHS: The role of the Gay-Straight Alliance is to help stop the hazing of queer students or even staff at the high school.  They also promote gay rights.

[7:57:21 PM] Amophrast: gay right in the scope of what? the high school, the state, the country, the world?

[7:57:38 PM] Amophrast: and what kinds of things occur to help promote these rights?

[8:01:46 PM] M.T.HHS: Well they are more focused in the rights of kids in the school, for protection from intense bullying, but the scope of the club is for more people to be comfortable with queer individuals in society itself.  The club is preparing for assemblies and speeches discussing the presence of gays and lesbians in people's lives and trying to convince more people to help stop the hate against them.

[8:02:52 PM] Amophrast: do you think they achieve this goal?

[8:04:47 PM] M.T.HHS: I think this goal is partially achieved in the fact that they glean some supporters from the crowd, but there's still a lot of work to do in that area in a high school where kids use the word 'gay' as a negative subject.

[8:05:04 PM] M.T.HHS: But that doesn't mean they aren't doing their job.

[8:05:39 PM] M.T.HHS: Really, just the fact that they're there helps out the situation.

[8:06:02 PM] Amophrast: so do you think visibility and presence helps?

[8:06:56 PM] M.T.HHS: Yes I think it does, because it shows people that there are always going to be people out there that are gay and they just have to accept that and stop trying to push them away.

[8:08:22 PM] Amophrast: Is there any work or activism that you wish was being done at HHS?

[8:10:22 PM] M.T.HHS: I think a table with information about the mistreatment of queer individuals being run at least once a month could help a lot because it could show people how some of the bullied gay and lesbian kids feel and it may even stop this mistreatment.

[8:11:29 PM] Amophrast: Do you feel that you have had access to sufficient resources regarding gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, etc? And have these resources been through the GSA or on your own, the internet, etc?

[8:12:37 PM] M.T.HHS: I think I have both through the GSA and personal experience, even through my short time being aware of the different sexual orientations.

[8:13:18 PM] Amophrast: f you could implement or request any specific programs or workshops at HHS, what would they be?

[8:15:43 PM] M.T.HHS: Maybe a special on the program H-Vision about the GSA and their goals that explains how to help stop bullying when you see it or how to support gays and lesbians everywhere through your own actions.

[8:16:16 PM] Amophrast: for the context of the interview, can you please describe what H-Vision is?

[8:17:38 PM] M.T.HHS: H-Vision is a student-made production about the activities that take place in school.  It replaces the daily announcements, normally held over the loud-speaker, on Wednesdays and Fridays.

[8:19:47 PM] Amophrast: do you think HHS is different from the middle school in terms of queer issues?

[8:20:38 PM] M.T.HHS: I don't really think so, there are still basically the same problems from the middle school to the high school, but the problems are dealt with much better at HHS.

[8:22:24 PM] Amophrast: what makes the difference in the way things are dealt with?

[8:23:03 PM] M.T.HHS: The GSA definitely, and the students have had more time to learn about different sexual orientations and about themselves.