top of page

“EASIER THAN LAST YEAR —AND WITH A LOT LESS DRAMA”

IS THE HOPE OF ONE YOUNG THIRDER AS HE HEADS BACK TO THE CLASSROOM


As students get ready to head back to school, we wanted to check in with some young Thirders about their thoughts on returning to classes. This week we spoke with Seelie Romard, a soon-to-be grade 12 student at Riverview High School.


Seelie is second from right. He is with his sisters at one of their graduations.


“If I’m being honest, I’m not so optimistic about how the school year is gonna go,” he says. “I know that it’s my last year and I’m super excited about that, but I’m constantly worried about kids bullying me for my appearance or how I act/identify. It’s a constant worry.”


Romard is a transgender youth who has spoken to media organizations in the past about the bullying he has tolerated at the school, including having milk poured over his head; being called slurs; and having pencils regularly jabbed in his back. He has also spoken out about teachers not taking his complaints seriously and principals not doing all they can to make him feel safe.


He says that it is “terrifying” to go to school thinking that if something happens, the grown-ups at the school might not have his back.


“I constantly worry about teachers not taking me seriously or pushing my concerns aside because it’s happened to me before,” he said. “I do know a few teachers that I can go to for sure now, though, so it’s a little more comforting having that kind of support system around me, especially with grown-ups.”


Several studies have found that sexual and gender-diverse people are at heightened risk of victimization, both online and in-person. The research concludes that the impact of the victimization can be especially pronounced for young gender diverse people.


One report by Statistics Canada, Bullying victimization among sexually and gender diverse youth in Canada, published in 2018, found research that concluded bullied sexually and gender diverse youth have higher rates of suicide ideation and attempts than their cisgender and heterosexual counterparts.


“Beyond these effects, young people’s overall quality of life can be adversely affected over an entire lifetime, impacting their participation and engagement in various aspects of life and society,” the report goes on to say. “For instance, academic performance, and in turn, career potential and financial security, can be adversely impacted.”


Although Romard isn’t too optimistic about the upcoming school year, he is looking forward to having the life of any typical high school senior.


“I’m hoping the school year will be a lot easier than last year — and with a lot less drama. I’m also…looking forward to some of the grad activities that happen closer to the end of the school year,” he says. “Other than that, I just hope I make it through the year and graduate.”


When asked if he had a message for other young transgender people: “The one thing I would like to say is: ‘You’re valid, you’re heard, you’re seen, and you’re loved. Things will get better eventually.’ Those are the words I’d wished to hear for a long time before I came out.”

28 views0 comments

Comments


bottom of page