It’s been a few weeks since my trip to Little Rock Central High School in Arkansas. I’ve had a hard time putting the experience into words. The word I’ve used consistently to explain it verbally to people has been amazing. As far as writing about it I knew I’d have too much to say. I’m going to do my best to keep it short.
It was an amazing trip for one because of the history of the school. It played a large role in integrating our public schools. As I walked the hallways I felt the presence of those who had stood up for so many students they’d never meet. The Little Rock Nine roamed the halls with hatred being spewed at them so that we could walk freely through the halls. The history walked alongside of me and I will never forget that feeling.
It was amazing because the students I met with weren’t LGBTQ students. Some might have identified as such but I met with communication classes and students from the AVID Program. Yet they were open and asked a lot of questions. No one laughed at the subject. They were honest and so was I in my responses.
It was amazing because the students showed an interest in someone other than themselves. I don’t mean me although they treated me like a celebrity. That felt pretty cool. They showed concern for LGBTQ teens and the coming out experience. They were open and attentive. They made me extremely proud to be in their company.
Life sometimes gets in the way of our dreams but these kids were determined and focused. I have no doubt they will achieve their desires. I hope that life doesn’t make them judgmental and jaded. They seem to embrace a world that allows their hearts to be welcoming. They will be the generation to conquer the underlying hate that exists in the world.
They are who we all should be.