The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School




The Student News Site of San Luis Obispo High School



“I’m Not a Predator–I Never Was, I’m Still Not, and I Never Will Be”: The womxn-loving-womxn Experience at SLOHS


Illustration courtesy of Izzy Nino de Rivera.

  The LGBTQ+ community at San Luis Obispo High School is growing more throughout the years and some students are able to feel accepted and welcomed, with a growing ally community too. 

  This isn’t always true, and underlying, there’s a bigger picture.

  Every subsection of the LGBTQ+ community goes through different types of discrimination, whether it be about gender, sexuality, or both.

  Being a part of the sapphic community, I’ve become more aware increasingly of how different and how unique the womxn-loving-womxn (WLW) community is–and with that awareness the more I’ve been open about my sexuality and gender identity, the more the weight of how homophobia has transformed into something unique in the WLW experience.

  My senses of what was going on weren’t heightened at Laguna Middle School, where I was bullied for coming out as lesbian that year until I was forced to either transfer out of a class or endure what it was doing to me psychologically. 

  As far as I knew, I was the only lesbian that was out at the time in my grade, putting a target on my back. While I knew what direct harassment against the LGBTQ+ community was, it didn’t phase me as much as it feels it should have. I just thought It was just because I was different then.

  With moving up to SLOHS, it was a new start, where I could remake myself. 

  However, the indirect homophobia and the uncomfortable comments were more frequent here and frankly, they hurt so much more. People can brush off comments so much of the time, but what about overthinking what wasn’t said?

  “I’ve had a lot of experiences with lesbophobia at SLOHS, not necessarily directed at me but just a general discomfort around the topic,” said sophomore Lily Rogers. “With girls, I’ve heard a lot of jokes about lesbians in a negative context and, again, being uncomfortable around lesbians. I’ve also seen a lot of guys either sexualize lesbians or make fun of them depending on their physical appearance. For example, because I don’t ‘look like a lesbian’, I don’t get made fun of for it, but other lesbians I’ve seen who have pixie cuts and wear pride merch get made fun of and avoided by both cisgender and heterosexual (cishet) guys and girls.” 

  With my own experience with being out, I’ve found sexualization is one of the most prominent examples. 

  In 2019, when pornographic website PornHub released which categories were most viewed, the results disturbed me in an infographic I was reading in’s article. Unfortunately, it didn’t surprise me.

  The 3rd most viewed category was in fact, lesbians.

  I shuddered after reading it.

  “Homophobia is not cute. Thinking it’s hot when two girls kiss but then thinking it’s weird when they are dating is just sexualizing the entirety of the [WLW] community,” said an anonymous sophomore in a WLW relationship.

  Whenever a teacher talked about homosexuals or specifically, lesbians, I felt around twenty pairs of eyes shift towards me.

  Like it’s dirty. Out of place.

  When I turn around to look back at everyone, someone rolls their eyes and looks away, others whisper to their friends next to them, and the rest keep staring until the teacher moves on or notices. The ones that didn’t stare were the ones I was friends with, and one next to me patted me on the shoulder as if to comfort me.

  “Lesbophobia is hugely apparent in the male population at SLOHS,” said sophomore Pierson Kromhout. “I think partially, because of their male hormones, guys are thrown off by the idea that a girl wouldn’t be interested in a guy like himself, and therefore, is lesbophobic as a result. Not to say that there aren’t men who support lesbians, but I think the greater majority of the male population at SLOHS exhibit lesbophobia. Guys think they were showing forms of weakness by supporting lesbians because of their status and ego.”

  From a gay man’s standpoint, harassment between queer men and queer women have both its overlaps and its differences. 

  “Gay men are treated fairly well at our school besides the occasional bigot, and I know our lesbians are treated no better,” said sophomore Anthony Meinhold. “However, as much as I don’t see day-to-day differences, I know straight men fetishize lesbians and see it as ‘hot’.”

  Stereotypes about lesbians have been made up, and unfortunately, it’s something that so many have been exposed to, and especially what my experiences at SLOHS have been.

  The first day we dressed out for PE class, some of the girls scooted away from me when I came into the room and set down my things so I could get dressed. Some stared at me the whole time I was getting undressed, expecting me to look up at them. This was my experience for most of the trimester, only my close friends who knew I wasn’t a predator being near me. I tried skipping dressing out or going into the locker room as much as possible, being scared. 

  I was never a predator. I’m still not one, remotely. I never will be. 

  Yet so many who don’t understand assume that lesbians are always chasing after straight women.

  When I came out, people I used to be friends with started acting weird and started distancing themselves from me.

  “I feel accepted and unaccepted now,” said Rogers. “I feel accepted by the majority of students, but I’ve been unfollowed on Instagram and some of the people I used to be friends with have distanced themselves from me ever since I came out.” 

  I sat down in a teacher’s room every lunch period, sometimes tagging along with people. I looked around my back constantly, fearing the worst. Every time, I got a couple of stares back or a couple of glares. When I inhaled, I felt every nerve and bone in my spine tighten.

  Before I came out, I didn’t know anyone who identified specifically as lesbian.

  Until quarantine, I didn’t hear anyone was lesbian. 

  Even before quarantine, my girlfriend and I, a week before school shut down, took a break for two months. We both had internalized homophobia to work on and frankly, that was thanks to the environment provided for us at SLOHS. While school seems like a friendly and warm environment at first, it has layers like an onion. Peel away the layers to get down to the core. After getting to SLOHS, I soon discovered there was a rotten core that lesbians seemed to have reached. So many just aren’t public anymore about it.

  And still, more and more lesbians have come out during quarantine, most likely for that sigh of relief that they aren’t in school anymore. At school, there was far too much to confront.

  It doesn’t change the fact of the matter, and we have to do better. It’s not only a matter of kindness, it’s a matter of decent, human respect and making everyone comfortable not only with each other, but themselves.

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