Utica United.

Ending discrimination one misunderstanding at a time.

Utica United is a great way for LGBTQ students to organize and protect against bullying or discrimination. I think the tragic suicides of bullied teens around the country could have been avoided by promoting programs such as Utica United.

I can’t imagine facing the social challenge LGBTQ teens face every day heading into school. Many label them with offensive names, ones that cannot be put in print.

It’s not right; it degrades these teens to the point of animals. Everyone should be part of a supportive community, even if they have religious belief that goes against the LGBTQ community. Having a different opinion does not mean you have to hate the opposing side.

Recently the NFL had a player, Michael Sam, come out as gay before the 2014 draft. This development, I hope, will lead to the acceptance of all gay and lesbian professional sports figures.

As more and more Americans accept each other for who they are, some are striving to persecute LGBTQ individuals. The facts are clear; by continuing the discrimination against gays, many are causing stress for teens.

I don’t want to see some teen being bullied at school over an issue that is private and solely nobody else’s business. Everyone should be friends at school; it is a place to learn so people can succeed, I don’t see how a person’s preference should matter to someone else.

My parents have always told me to respect everyone, because everyone is different. I wish other people understood that. How could religions preach acceptance of all, but exclude and separate a whole group of fellow people?

I see things changing for the better; Utica United is a sign of that. No longer are people in the shadows, afraid of what others think. It’s a small step in the right direction.

As soon as more people realize we are all humans at the core, what color, shape, size, sex, nationality or religion won’t matter. I’m happy to say that when I first saw the signs of this new club, I was excited for my friends who are part of the LGBTQ community and those who are not.

Now everybody has an opportunity to talk about the issue, and those who disagree with LGBTQ teens can ask questions and learn.

I believe ignorance is bliss, but I also believe it breeds hatred. I always consider both sides of an issue before coming to a conclusion. Those who are against the LGBTQ because of their religious beliefs should be respected.

The founding of Utica United, to me, is a step toward equality. Other schools in UCS should model their own organizations for the LGBTQ populace after Utica United. Together, students can overcome bullying and discrimination.