Name: Kyle Drewes
Home state: California
As a ninth-grade student at my high school, I was assigned to write an essay that might persuade people to take an action. Here is an edited version of what I wrote:
"Fag." "Lesbo." "That's gay." All I hear are those hateful words. Those words make homophobia. But what is homophobia? I've thought about that question ever since I became a member of the gay-straight alliance at my middle school. Homo is the Latin root for the word same, and phobia is the fear of something. So it means having fear of the same. But it's not just having fear of the same sex; it's saying homophobic slurs, or harassing a person because that person is gay. You get the picture.
Homophobia is bad. It makes you feel seared. You can't go out of your house without remembering that you could be harassed for …