Homophobia

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Berit Pigott has been on the receiving end of homophobia, but at 14 and despite challenges, she’s not having any of it.

Last year, on a seemingly unimportant day, I tossed a basketball against a wall during PE. Like normal, I was spacing off, hoping that today I wouldn't get hit with a ball, when a girl walked up to me, giggling hysterically. I stared at her, unsure of what to do or what to say. The girl looked at me.

“Hey, are you like, a homo?” she said in in a fit of laughter.

I stood there for a moment. It felt as if I had been frozen in place. At the time, I had come out as bisexual, and this was the last thing I wanted to hear.

Homo: adjective. Abbreviated form of homosexual. Offensive term.

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My sexuality has always been a constant moving, never-ending puzzle to me. Through 6th and 7th grade, I was never sure exactly what I should identify as. I came out as bisexual last year, knowing I liked both boys and girls. Simply saying the words “I am bisexual” to my friends, family, and classmates was a challenge for me, even with support all around me. I was so worried about what people would think; what people would say. I should be able to express myself, especially at the age that I am, without facing any prejudice and hatred for being myself. But unfortunately, it’s not that easy.

Why, in such a supportive and seemingly open school, even county, do people have this problem? Why do I have to justify myself to others? Why should something so hard be made even harder by cruel remarks?

I never thought I would have to think about facing homophobia. I didn’t know how to act, or what I should even say in response to encounters like these. I’ve learned since that day, that no matter how much people bring you down, I always have people supporting me. That even though there are homophobic people in the world, I have friends and family who will face them with me.

With a Perspective, I’m Berit Pigott.

Berit Pigott is 14 years old and in the 8th grade at Kent Middle School in Kentfield.