What Students Are Saying About Desegregating Schools, Reading the Room, and Saying ‘I Love You’

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What Students Are Saying About Desegregating Schools, Reading the Room, and Saying ‘I Love You’

We are in a progressive standstill. While we are finally starting to see major changes in women’s rights, the fall of the past patriarchy where men held more power. And especially the legalization and HUMAN RIGHTS for LGBT people to get married, there is still a stigma around masculinity and connection between two straight, cisgender, men.

Ethan, Pinkey, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

As a girl, it’s so easy to let my friends know how I feel. It’s what I’ve been doing for my whole life and nobody has had condescending remarks against it. But for boys, its seen as “gay.” These jokes of “love you, bro” and “no homo” have been made for a while now. Guys “expressing” how they feel but all in good humor. When Ricardo and his friend were told that holding hands was gay, they then had to regulate how they showed their care for each other. Directly hearing a positive affirmation does affect me differently. I know that my friends care for me, I can tell in their loyalty and honesty, but hearing the words is always positive and reassuring. Something that most guys seem to struggle with.

Avery Lemley, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

No matter who you are and who you love, you should be able to comfortably share how you feel without strain. It’s a wonderful thing to have friends who you love, and who reciprocate. However, many teenagers may grimace to themselves if they ever let the common truth slip out in a casual goodbye. They often try to save themselves from an accidental “love you” with much more intentional “bro.” I feel that it’s necessary to stop the stigma around feeling as it leads to “uncoolness.” Honesty and empathy should never lead to social ridicule.

Matalin Bloomfield, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

If “Love you Bro” lets someone who is concerned about that perception express themselves in a way that makes them feel comfortable, then that is a good thing. Yes, it is too bad that males just don’t always feel comfortable saying “I love you,” but it does seem to be trending towards being more acceptable.

Mr. Kingston, Lodi High

When’s the last time you told someone that you loved them? Who was it? A friend, a family member, or a significant other? See most people when asked this question have no trouble coming up with a situation involving love. But the difficult part is not saying the word love, instead it is understanding the true meaning and complexity of this simple four letter word. Love isn’t just one feeling, love is a multitude of feelings that are felt for many different types of people in our everyday lives.

Ellie Saguto, Glenbard West HS, Glen Ellyn Illinois

In our heads: I love you

Out loud: “See ya dude”

The picture is showing how society has censored the way we express our feelings. It’s made rules. No holding hands. No hugging. No saying I love you. Why?

Shivani Patel, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC

Sometimes we love silently. It’s not always communicated in those three little words, but in a hug, one more joke, words of advice, or so many other small gestures that are actually colossal. If I’m upset and my friend pulls me into a hug, I know I’m loved; the verbal affirmation is nice but I don’t always need it. Actions speak louder than words, anyway. However, according to the author of the essay, this is only partly true for him. He knows that his friend, Kichi, loves him, but it hurts him that Kichi refuses to say those words, unlike him.

Grace Robertson, Hoggard High School Wilmington, NC

As a female, I’ve never had a problem telling my friends I love them. Now, looking back, I don’t think I’ve ever heard a male tell his male friend he loves them without making a joke about it and shrugging it off. While I can’t relate to the despair of Ricardo yearning to hear Kichi say he loves him back, I can see why it would be so hurtful. After putting your heart out on the line not once, but six times and the other person shutting down and replying with “Yeah bro, I’ll catch you soon,” I would be a little embarrassed.

Simone Cronier, Hoggard High School in Wilmington, NC