VMSS needs an LGBTQ+ support club


Artwork by Kieran Kowalski

How many people reading this feel unhappy with who they are? How many want to change something about themselves, whether it’s your personality or appearance? Statistically, there are a lot of you. Many middle school students are unhappy with who they are and who they’ve become.

Based on information from an article on Growing Up LGBT in America, 26% of LGBTQ+ youth don’t feel accepted and are often bullied. Luckily, 99% are out to friends and family and 64% are out to their classmates. Those stats are pretty relieving, but the next facts are bound to surprise you. I know they surprised me. 92% of America’s LGBTQ+ youth hear negative messages being spread. 68% receive remarks and messages with negative connotations from their elected leaders.

In Minnesota, equal parts of male and female people (adults and children) are part of the LGBTQ+ community. We have a 3.4% population of LGBTQ+ adults and 20% of that group have children. There’s nothing wrong with these statistics, right?, maybe not. 71.4% of children with LGBTQ+ parents are made fun of for their own parents!

Now, this article won’t just be about kids in the LGBTQ+ community, thanks to statistics I found on another article. 40% of boys in middle school feel insecure about their bodies and muscles. 38% of middle school boys will use protein supplements to feel better about themselves. 47% of young girls are held back from showing their true selves because of their self-esteem. 70% of middle school girls will talk down on themselves, their looks, their personality, even with who their friends and family are. 20% of the children in America will experience depression before reaching adulthood.

For all the facts I just mentioned, I believe there could be a rather simple solution. I believe our school could have a supportive club after school for anyone that might need it. Kids that don’t feel comfortable with themselves could see they’re not alone. Kids in the LGBTQ+ community could feel safe among each other. Kids would be given the opportunity to vent if they need it. I think it would make an amazing addition to our after school clubs, especially since it could really help out numerous kids at our school.

Sources: https://www.hrc.org/youth-report/view-and-share-statistics \\ https://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/visualization/lgbt-stats/?topic=LGBT&area=27#density \\ https://www.dosomething.org/us/facts/11-facts-about-teens-and-self-esteem