In Your Skin

The Pirateer is doing a series of stories looking into different populations that make up our campus.

Trinity Gallegos, Pirateer Staff

Imagine if you were struggling with your identity. You are a teenager, already going through changes in appearance, voice, behavior, and sexuality. But you are also lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, transgender or queer, part of the LGBTQ community and have no idea how you fit in. 


Your school environment should feel like a safe place for you to explore all of these issues. Is Englewood High School one of those places? 


Freshman student Alex Briones is a part of the community and identifies as gay, “no one should be getting judged for being who they want to be,” said Briones. 


She believes in equal rights for LGBTQ persons and says she feels safe inside the walls at EHS, “We are all human beings and we deserve to be happy. We should be working as a team to build each other up, not bring each other down.” 


Counselor Dawn Cominsky is in charge of GSA, the Gender Sexuality Alliance at EHS, “We talk about current issues in the LGBTQ community, we talk about current laws, like the new rule in Denver schools where there has to be a gender-neutral bathroom in each school. We had a float in the homecoming parade to represent. We talk about coming out to friends and families.”


Cominsky said the group is a safe place for any student who is LGBTQ or allies. Cominsky says that means, “I’m not gay or trans-gendering, but I support who you are.”  


She says they discuss important issues, “It’s a safe place to be who you are, to talk about things you may not want to talk about in front of others. The pronouns and names they chose to go by are important in our club.” 


Cominsky believes we have a very safe space for LGBTQ students, “I feel like we have a very understanding community for the most part. There are always going to be people who do not understand the changes they chose to make in their gender or sexuality, but that is why we have the group to provide a safe place where students can talk.” 


While Denver schools are just now moving ahead with facilities for the LGBTQ students, Englewood High School has these in place, “We at EHS have a gender-neutral bathroom, in the library for any LGBTQ student to use without question and they are allowed to use the locker room with the gender they align with.” 


As a freshman, Briones says the only changes she would like to see around LGBTQ rights and a feeling of safety extends to the internet, “Honestly if I had to, I’d stick up for the LGBTQ community.” 


The EHS counselors and the GSA group members welcome new participants. See Dawn Cominsky in the counseling office for more information. The group meets weekly.