When the word “activists” came to mind in high school I only viewed it as someone who was consistently active in a certain cause and for someone who wanted change; someone “not” like me. My personal story begins when I first came out as a gay teen my junior year in high school. I went through a year of depression where my parents were not supportive with my “decision”, something that had drastic effects on my relationship with them, and my academic standing. I had no one to really go to who I felt that could truly understand what I was going through at the time, since I only had straight friends. Fortunately, I had a nearby resource that was always supportive of when I needed someone to talk to; my guidance counselor Ms. A.T who I quickly found out had a lesbian sister. After around three months of weekly visits to her office, I had a friend who had recently been outted by the school as a lesbian through other students, got into a fight and had an embarrassing awkward conversation with her parents in the school’s office. After finding out about her experience, I offered her a hand by informing her of my weekly visits to the counselor’s office, because I did see decent improvement in myself.
Soon enough I had two others join our group, all for different reasons and found out that it seemed that a queer group was necessary at my high school. I focused on this throughout my senior year and something came out of it, a “diversity” group, something I didn’t really find all that pleasing to hear. Ms. A.T let me know that the principal was not comfortable enough to have a group who specifically focused on the queer community but instead anyone who was considered “different” or was teased by the student body. I still don’t feel that it was sufficient enough to have this diversity group because most queer people were minorities within minorities. I didn’t feel like the students would be fully comfortable letting their identity flourish. Unfortunately, there was no way the school would allow me to have any influence with the group after I graduated. As of now the group lasted about 2 years and no longer in existence.
Even with the diversity group falling apart, it did however make me change my career path from originally apply to schools as a pre-vet major to a psychology major and hopefully entering the education/counseling/child development field for my graduate studies. I never was too concerned with focusing on the big picture in society because I knew the reality of being only one person, but if I can change the outlook of a few children have of themselves in the future that will be my accomplishment as an activist.