so my team is going to st louis, and we are staying in hotels. there is one room for unchaperoned girls and one room for unchaperoned boys. there’s going to be 2 other girls in the room with me, but there will only be 2 beds. and one of the girls i will likely share with is a little (a lot) homophobic (i’m a lesbian). what do?
Your own safety should come first no matter what, if there’s a way to switch rooms to be with someone less opposed to who you are, I recommend that, but other than that, offering to take a spot on the floor is probably your best option? Lots of hotels will sometimes offer cots or at least extra blankets and pillows if you ask for them. Sorry this is happening, I hope everything goes well, and maybe I’ll see you in St. Louis!
– Aryn 4982
“Hypothetical situation”, but what if a person came out to their team for real and now is a joke? What do I do? (Everything is now super awkward)
Sorry for the late answer, it’s been kind of hectic recently!
Definitely try to address it whenever a joke comes up. It may be uncomfortable for you, but it’s important that your teammates take you and your identity seriously. Talking to your teammates about how it’s made things awkward is really all you can do.
If you have the opportunity, try to bring it to the attention of an understanding mentor and talk to them about the situation. Mentors are there to help and ideally they’ll be able to help you through the situation.
– Linnea and Alex
So I had first seen this stand before i came out and the entire time I was looking through the pamphlet I was thinking to myself “this is awesome and I support this so much” and the discord server is just full of awesome and understanding people. So I just want to say thank you for giving people a place to feel accepted in a harsh world.
almost my whole team is lgbtq+, why?
3.8% of American adults currently identify as LGBTQ+, and your team just happens to be a statistical anomaly – congrats! In reality, being LGBTQ+ is just a part of who the people on your team are. There’s no why to it, unless we want to get into the nature of humanity and the universe itself. Thanks!
– Kiran L. 2826
I was wondering if LGBTQ+ FIRST has given any thought to Texas passing a bathroom bill, and how that would impact trans FIRST students, especially with South Champs being hosted in Houston, Texas. Is this something that should be protested?
Hey sorry for letting this ask sit for so long, but we had to think and work on this since it’s such a complicated issue. We are contacting FIRST about the issue and asking for support. Although these types of laws affect a lot of people, businesses and organizations can choose whether or not it applies to them. FIRST, in its nondiscrimination policy, directly references gender identity and sexual orientation so we anticipate support.
OMG I honestly felt like I was the only asexual in first thank you so much for sharing your story Ive been coming out to my team over time and its been really hard since they all kind of just brush it off as a joke. Ive been making jokes and references to it too because im too awkward to try to explain it to them. Its been a kind of difficult time and I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate this blog and that post. Thank you.
Aw, I’m sorry to hear about your team situation, but thank you for the support! It means a lot.
I’m a lesbian member on our FRC team, and I’m pretty sure I’m the only one, nobody has said otherwise. But despite me being the odd one out, my team has been great with being accepting of my sexuality.
When I came out, it was just to a couple of friends and it wasn’t a big deal or anything. I just went “i’m gay btw haha so how about that water game being confirmed am i right?” and they were cool with it. After that everyone just sort of figured it out. The rookies even figured it out despite me not telling them, they don’t mind at all! My team is so comfortable with me being gay we casually joke about it. They make it clear that they mean no offense and they 100% support me.
The one issue I did have was outing, they did this a lot. I consider myself comfortable with my sexuality, but I want to tell people I’m gay when I’m ready (unless they just figure it out). I don’t want random people knowing this. I’m not trying to say it’s a bad thing you should hide, but it’s just not other people’s business for me personally. They’re getting better at this after I communicated I didn’t like this.
That’s the big key for this: communication. If you are gay, the FIRST community is very welcoming of you and you will almost definitely be accepted. However, you have to communicate with your team the do’s and don'ts. I am more than comfortable with letting my team joke around and even let them say “fag” and “queer”, I say it around them and it’s only fair they do too. But some people are not and that’s fine. Communicate with your team about these kinds of things.
If people don’t support gay rights, that’s honestly fine. We had someone like that on my team. I didn’t bash him, despite my team wanting to for my sake (which was sweet!) and instead just let him get used to my presence. I’m gay and he knows it. By the beginning of the year he 100% did not support gay people, and now he’s saying he does. Even if they don’t end up supporting it, that’s ok. As long as they treat you like a human and don’t be a dick about it.
-Much love from 3735!
Hey! Thanks for sharing your story!
-Kiran L. 2826
Hey I'm from 1796 and I don't know if I should come out to my team or not I've been trying decide for a awhile, any advice?
Firstly: I recommend against coming out if you feel like it will put you in an unsafe situation. Your own safety should come first.
Secondly: It’s often a good idea to come out to one person or a small group of people first, to test the waters, before coming out to the group as a whole. Depending on your situation, you may not even need to come out to the group all at once.
Thirdly: Pick the right time to come out. In the middle of build season, when tensions are high and stress is rampant, may not be the best time to tell someone something this important.
If you want more of our advice, you can check out our #coming out tag!
Best of luck!
hi there, i was wondering if you knew any good resources for people wanting to transition after they graduate high school? like once they turn 18 like if you knew the legal stuff and how much of a say parents have
Once you are 18, you are an adult and do not need a parent’s permission, but you would still be under their insurance. Depending on where you live, transitioning can be easier or harder. If you don’t mind saying in which state you live, I can find some resources for you. (I’m also low key on the way to my appointment at an LGBT health clinic so you’re in luck).
Here’s a good website for broad information.
Staff: Sean 5113
hi everyone! first off, love the blog so I’m the lead student of my robotics team of 50+ students and about 15-20 mentors. I’m a closeted lesbian and I’m scared they’ll take away my leadership position If I come out. what should I do? (NH team)
Hello! Thanks for loving our blog! FIRST (haha puns) of all, you don’t have to come out unless you want to and are ready. If you’re afraid, don’t do it, but coming out isn’t some big gesture like it is in the movies. You don’t have to come out to everyone at once. With 15-20 mentors, odds are that at least one mentor is also LGBT+. Still, if that mentor isn’t out, it could be hard trying to figure out who it is. My personal advice is to test the waters. Discuss LGBT+ issues and topics with a friend or mentor on the team. If that friend or mentor seems supportive and trustworthy, you can decide to come out to them. If that mentor or friend is homophobic, don’t come out.
Make a T chart and list all the negatives and positives to coming out. If you feel that coming out is safe and good, you still shouldn’t risk your safety and well-being. Try coming out to one person first, and hopefully through them you can find a group that supports you.
If you want to come out to your whole team, keep in mind people will have questions and people might be rude. Stay strong but always have a backup plan. If your school has a school psychologist, meeting with them before coming out to make sure you’re ready and make sure nothing you say to your team will negatively effect your home life or life outside of the team. If you’re not out to your parents and you feel that coming out to the team will inadvertently out you to your parents, take that in mind.
If you find that coming out would harm you more than help you, know that being out doesn’t make you more or less LGBT+. Your identity is valid.
Whatever you chose, know that we support you. The world is changing and you might be surprised at the support you receive. Chances are that you’ll be okay and coming out won’t rid you of your leadership position. Just always be prepared and have a back up plan just in case. If you have any more questions, feel free to shoot us another ask and we’ll try to respond quickly.
About LGBTQ+ of FIRST
LGBTQ+ of FIRST is an organization dedicated to raising awareness and acceptance of LGBTQ+ participants in FIRST Robotics. LGBTQ+ of FIRST was started to spread visibility of the LGBTQ+ community within FIRST and help teams become safe spaces for their members.