Issue 96

Around 1 in 6 (15%) of Generation Z adults identify as LGBT. If we were to broadly apply this to our high school population, this equates to around 13 people per year group. 

Chances are, one of those 13 people is a friend of yours. Are you comfortable using words like “sus” around them? Are you comfortable “acting gay” as a joke? Are you comfortable saying that “bisexual girls are hotter because seeing them make out with the same sex turns you on”? Are you comfortable writing hate comments on the pride day pledge?

Apparently we are all too comfortable with this. These are all things I have heard and seen all too often among my peers. I asked Ms Gifford a few months ago how a gay student might feel at this institution. Her response, in short, was that it would be extremely difficult.

Part of this difficulty stems from our hypermasculine, conformist culture. As you will read in Mr Ivett’s op-ed, the expectations of masculinity at ISL are very restrictive. Boys can be boys, but only if they fit a certain role. 

Some might say that these restrictive constructs of masculinity, and the homophobia that stems from them, is what is reflected in the “real world”. This could not be further from the truth. In an age of rapid globalization, it is actually essential that people are receptive to diverse identities. My mother, a software engineer at a large American multinational, (whose founder has ties to the US Republican Party!) had to take a mandatory course on microaggressions. The corporate world is progressing while our institution, in many ways, is regressing. 

As you read on, the experiences of LGBT alumni are quite different to present-day accounts. ISL’s culture is extremely transitory – every new group of students brings their values with them. This is because of the nature of our school: because it is international, people enter and exit a school on a regular basis.

I am not saying that this issue will solve intolerance towards the LGBT community. My aim as Editor-in-Chief is to spark (constructive) discussions. If releasing this issue means that issues affecting the LGBT community are discussed, then it is a step forward.