Pride at Sahuaro

Advice to Gay Students Who Have Not Come Out Yet


Jordan Myers, Entertainment Editor

With October 11th being National Coming Out Day, and as an openly gay student myself, I interviewed two Sahuaro teachers who experienced the gay rights movement themselves.  Both of these English teachers offered their words of wisdom to young homosexuals who might be scared or worried about “coming out” as gay to their friends and family. October is recognized as LGBT History Month. This century has seen great strides in improving gay rights – from Vermont becoming the first state to legalize civil unions between same-sex couples in 2000, to the first legal same-sex marriage in the United States in Massachusetts in 2004, to finally on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court rules that states cannot ban same-sex marriage.

Shelly Krause, an English teacher at Sahuaro High School, has been with her partner for thirty years and has agreed to share some wisdom with LGBT youth. Krause always kind of knew that she was gay, but never quite came to terms with it until her twenties. She came out to everyone she knew simply by being honest with them. After coming out and being open, she faced discrimination for her sexuality and experienced threats, name calling, paintings on buildings, and people just not liking her for the fact. Discrimination will most definitely happen if you are LGBT, so being prepared for the hate you’ll receive is very important. Krause and her partner have twins together but have not yet tied the knot due to financial aid concerning their children’s college expenses, although they plan on getting married sometime in the next year. Krause says that having a support system, whether it be friends or family or just anyone to talk with, is one of the most important things to have when you decide that it’s time you come out. Planning your coming out helps too and having a plan B if things don’t go as expected is important. Krause believes that you can’t be truly happy if you’re not being yourself.

English AP Teachers, Hislope and Krause

Mr. Hislope, another English teacher at Sahuaro has been legally married to his husband for two years, but they have been together for thirty-four yearsMr. Hislope always kind of knew he was gay, but didn’t really know until his college years. Once he accepted the fact, he did not officially come out. He simply lived his life, but it didn’t keep him away from discrimination. Throughout school, classmates would bully him and never let him hear the end of it. In the ’70s, he was fired from a previous job for being gay and his now-husband was turned down from a job for the same reason. “Back then there wasn’t much I could do, but today I know that I would have been able to fight it,” he said. Mr. Hislope was born and raised in Indiana, and this made it harder for him to be who he was, especially back then. His only line of defense was to stay private about his life and only tell people he could trust. He firmly believes that “Gay people are born. Not made.” His advice to LGBT youth struggling to come out is to have a support system, whether it be friends or family or really anyone you trust, be true to yourself, and if you’re honest and sure, you’ll be okay. He believes that coming out will never be easy, no matter how accepting today’s society is. Even student Daniel Savastano agrees with the advice. “Wait until you feel that you are ready, when you feel safe, and know you’ll still have a home and support system”.