To the Gay Straight Alliance the terms straight, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and pansexual are not terms of isolation, they are terms of freedom. To them a person is a person, no matter their sexuality.
Junior Dean Fountain, who is transgender, feels that fear should never hold someone back from expressing who they really are. Fountain considers himself lucky to already have found his soulmate. He proposed to his girlfriend of four years on a bridge at sunset this past Halloween and knows it was the right thing to do. They are looking forward to getting married when they are both 18, preferably on a summer night. The two must wait until Fountain’s fiancée is an official adult, due to the fact that Fountain’s fiancée’s parents are not accepting of their relationship.
“There are always going to be people who judge people, and there will always be people that judge me because I am transgender,” Fountain said. “There are people who judge me because I have a female fiancée. There are people who are just not going to like everyone. I do feel like there is prejudice but I hope one day that it won’t always be there. This is America. People shouldn’t be judging others’ sexuality when they live in the land of the free.”
To senior Audrey Sessa, romantic love shouldn’t be reserved exclusively for the opposite sex. To her, love could come from the same sex, the opposite sex or the undetermined sex. A person’s sex isn’t the determining factor for someone to be eligible to date.
“For me, anyone can be an option,” Sessa said. “It’s about personality and if I feel an attraction to them. Being pansexual I could find a girl, guy, or transgender attractive. In the end it’s not about gender, it is about the quality of the relationship that should matter.”
Fountain tries to keep himself feeling confident in who he is, hoping that eventually others will accept him too.
“I do feel very uncomfortable but I try to not get upset, because I know, for some reason, I was put in the wrong body,” Fountain said. “It is not something that is just meaningless. I know one day in life I will find out why I was born in the wrong body. We all are born with something we do not like about ourselves, but there’s a reason why we are all different and we eventually will find out one day.”
But finding a relationship is not easy for some. Co-GSA president senior Jay Friestad, a questioning bisexual, has dated both boys and girls and has faced difficulties with his relationships.
“It is more difficult to date a guy just because sometimes you have to hide it or it is uncomfortable in public situations,” Friestad said. “People also get really bothered, especially guys, but I just try to show them they aren’t my cup of tea either and that I am not attracted to every guy or girl under the sun.”
GSA Secretary, senior Jordan Margotta, dated Friestad and the two broke up due to the fact that Friestad came out. Margotta said the relationship has helped her with dating and finding her true self.
“When I found out he was bisexual, I realized then that I too was bisexual and we broke up,” Margotta said. “It was upsetting, because I really liked him. But it wasn’t me, he and I were just being ourselves and we can’t help that. Even though it is disappointing when someone you like doesn’t like you and your relationship fails, but in the end I was allowed to discover myself a little more and be with people that truly like me. That is what people need to realize: just because one thing ends it doesn’t mean it is your end.”
But the LGBT community faces another obstacle: only six states recognize same-sex marriages. According to Sessa, this is a huge problem. She feels that it is a basic freedom to be able to marry who you love, even if she or he is the same sex that you happen to be.
“Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but if I’m happy and not hurting them, I don’t see why it should be a problem,” Sessa said. “It should be legal to marry whoever. Eventually I think it will be. It will take a while though. But I think we have made lots of progress.”
With many challenges to face, Friestad is thankful that LGBT community has outlets like GSA where they can talk about their problems and meet people who share similar beliefs.
“I thought we needed more of an outreach group for the community so people that have questions or are confused have a safe place to come out and be who they really are,” Friestad said. “I am proud to be one of the group’s leaders.”
Fountain hopes that one day society will understand and accept him and his fellow community members with their relationship choices. Fountain and his fiancée believe that their native countries, Ireland and Australia, are more accepting of different sexual preferences.
“We both believe ‘don’t date someone unless you are sure you love them’,” Fountain said. “We have known each other for so long and there’s nothing about her I don’t love or that would anger me. I know I love her; there is no question about it. People say it is stupid but it’s not. It is love. We are no different. We are the same as any other couple.”