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ToBGLAD: Faculty share experiences, discredit stereotypes

[media-credit name=”Julia Moss” align=”alignnone” width=”229″][/media-credit]

Spanish teacher Daniel Fabrizio, who is the adviser of the Gay-Straight Alliance, participated in the faculty panel yesterday F-block in the little theatre.

by Connor Vasu
A panel made up of four LGBTQ faculty members discussed common stereotypes, life experiences and problems related to the LGBTQ community yesterday F-block in the little theatre as a part of Transgender Bisexual Gay Lesbian Awareness  Day.
Most of the faculty agreed that the schools they attended as children were much less tolerant than the Newton Public Schools are.

Math teacher Janice Lichtman recalled, “I remember a part of health class in my high school where we had to ‘marry’ one another. It was very clear that it was going to be the girls matching up with the boys.”

Physical Education and Wellness teacher Lauren Baugher said, “I remember there were comments kids would make. Growing up we made assumptions about teachers and used homophobic slurs to describe each other.”
However, not all on the panel had a tumultuous upbringing because of their sexual orientation.

Spanish teacher Daniel Fabrizio said, “I went to one of the most tolerant school systems in the country, which was interesting because I went to a Catholic all-boys school.”

The panel cleared up some common misconceptions about gender identity and sexual orientation.
Fabrizio said, “I didn’t choose whether to be gay because I knew about it for a long time. When I finally admitted it, I felt a lot better.”
Guidance counselor Matthew Ford said ignorance is the worst problem today. “I feel like ripping someone’s face off when they say a homophobic slur. Most of the time the word is said because of a general ignorance about what it means.”
Sharing with your family your sexual orientation can be difficult, according to Baugher. Coming out of the closet for Baugher was a strenuous time, she said. “My family was crying, and I just wanted them to be proud of me. Some of my extended family in North Carolina who are very religious didn’t even come to my wedding.”
However, for some of the other panelists, coming out was aided by the support of their families.

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