Students Embrace Their Identities


At Logansport High School and many other places for that matter, there is a community of people that have found that they identify as someone other than who they were born as. These people have spent a long time identifying as a gender that didn’t feel right to them. They’ve taken steps to become the person they are now through changing things like their name, their pronouns, or even both.

Sophomore Phoenix Cripe displays flags spelling out his name from his gender/name reveal party. (Carissa Dawson)

Finding an identity is overall a difficult task, especially when people judge someone for just being themselves. It’s important to people who change their pronouns that they are respected. A large obstacle many face is when it comes to less common pronouns. Some people don’t understand using they/them pronouns.

“For a long time, the most common genders for people in society have been male/female. Therefore, as language has evolved alongside civilization, a male/female pronoun came to be ingrained in our speech and writing,” English teacher and GSA sponsor Nathan Hedrick said, “However, as we are learning more about gender identity in humans, we find that having only two gendered pronouns is limiting and often misrepresentative. The most common alternative is the plural/neutral pronoun ‘they.’ However, there is also a movement to create new pronouns to use, called neo-pronouns. These were created specifically for non-binary gender identity use. Ze/zir is an example of this (pronounced ‘zee’ and ‘zeer.’”

Junior Val Mooney is also co-president of the Gay-Straight Alliance Club (GSA) at LHS. (Photo Courtesy of Val Mooney)

Junior Val Mooney is a student at Logansport High School that identifies as gender fluid. They go by all pronouns. Their coming out journey was pretty straightforward considering they found themselves an accepting group of people.

“I came out about four months ago as gender fluid,” Mooney stated, “I told my GSA friends first.”

Choosing a name is a process that for most people isn’t necessarily an easy task. Junior Atticus Picardo, he/him, had multiple names that he liked. He had gone through multiple phases of names. In the end, his favorite was Atticus.

“I chose Atticus because when I read ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ in my freshman year. Atticus became my favorite character, and I really loved his name,” Picardo said.

Sophomore Phoenix Cripe came out in August of this year. He uses he/him pronouns. He came out in a unique way. Phoenix threw a party at his mother’s house and invited a few of his friends.

“Everyone kind of already knew, but I had a gender/name reveal party with a cake that had blue inside of it and a pinata with my new name in it,” Cripe said.

Junior Atticus Picardo was inspired by Harper Lee’s novel To Kill a Mockingbird when searching for a name. (Photo Courtesy of Atticus Picardo)

Everyone who changes their pronouns faces issues. They can face disrespect from family or many other obstacles. Students can have problems with body dysphoria and so on. For example, they could struggle with their voice not fitting their identity.

“My voice, everybody can hear that, everyone just kind of judges me off of that. Like, hey, you sound like a girl, so you’re obviously a girl. Like no, that’s actually not how it is at all,” sophomore Damon Aho said.

There are many messages that people might want to hear. The message could be aimed toward people who want to respect people in the LGBTQ+ community and people in the local community, but either way, people may want to be informed. Cripe believes that there’s something important everyone in the LGBTQ+ community should know.

“I think something that members of the LGBTQ+ community that aren’t out should know is that hiding it is just going to make it worse; you may meet people who don’t support you on your journey, but that’s on them. Live for yourself, not other people,” Cripe said.