The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

LGBT groups offer students support

By Samantha Sutton/reporter

TCC student Jason Rosen said he became aware in second grade that he was different.

When he would watch movies with his mom and see her fawn over an attractive man, he looked at the man the same way. Rosen said he was scared to let his parents know about his sexual orientation.

“Just 56 percent of [young adults] have told their mother about their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 39 percent have told their father,” according to a June article in The New York Times.

Rosen had two lesbian aunts who opened his eyes to different sexual orientations. Though he loved his aunts, Rosen’s father made it clear he did not approve of their sexual orientation.

“It’s hard when your parents, the two people who are supposed to love you the most, can’t even stand the sight of you just because you’ve finally become who you want to be,” Rosen said.

Entering high school, Rosen felt trapped inside his own mind. He was friends with all the cool guys in school, and his parents were extremely conservative. He did not know where to turn or what to do. His junior year of high school, Rosen could not take the stress of his hidden sexual orientation anymore and turned to drugs to ease the pain.

“I thought I could take all the emotions I was hiding and dope them away,” he said.

When Rosen’s parents found out about his drug addiction, they sent him to a rehabilitation facility. There he met other gay teenagers he could talk to. Rosen said having a support group changed everything for him and even helped him make the decision to reveal his secret during his senior year in high school.

“When I came out, I had never been happier,” he said. “I no longer felt the need to turn to drugs or try to fit in, I could just be myself.”

As he expected, Rosen lost many of his old friends after coming out. His father was so angry that he left home for a month, cutting off all communication with his father. His mother was enraged, too, but has become more understanding over time. Though the disapproval was hard, Rosen said it was still better than hiding his sexual orientation.

Now in college, Rosen said TCC’s diversity makes everyone feel comfortable. People in class with him know about his orientation and accept it.

For the first time in a long time, Rosen has straight guy friends who do not care about his sexual orientation.

Student development assistant Mystika Daigneault said NE Campus has an LGBT support group called Spectrum.

The group members help one another get through tough times throughout the school year and host an annual fashion show.

“I think Spectrum gives the LGBT students on our campus a place they can turn to, especially being able to surround themselves by people who are going through the same thing,” Daigneault said.

Rosen plans to join Spectrum. He believes the organization could help people who not only are openly gay but are on the fence about coming out.

NE student Devon Franks supports Rosen’s joining Spectrum.

“I think it is great that Jason wants to join an LGBT group because support from others in rehab is what made Jason the confident, drug-free person he is today,” Franks said.

Rosen’s future goals are to gain acceptance of his sexual orientation from his parents and have a strong marriage with children.

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