The official student-run news publication of Edina High School.

Unpacking the “culture of exclusion” at EHS

January 15, 2022

Kratz often observed misgendering and intimidation, both casual and overt, during their school day and at extracurricular activities. The student team leaders of one of his school-led activities began to include pronouns in the team roster when Kratz was a member, which the coach at the time disregarded. 

“He saw the they/them pronouns, and he was just disgusted. I mean he was like ‘we’re not doing that’ and kind of just tossed the roster out, and then he never acknowledged it again and just continued using she/her pronouns for me,” Kratz said.  

Kratz and Lampron both found support through the high school counseling department. When the gender-inclusive bathrooms were first constructed at the high school, Dylan Hackbarth, EHS counselor, walked the halls with Lampron to create a map of where they were located for students who were unsure. The counseling department also formalized the gender and named pronoun form around the same period. 

“For a non-binary or maybe a gender-expansive person…I think it’s core, like essential, that a school is affirming that student’s presence,” Hackbarth said.

Fantin and other parents of non-cisgender students also received encouragement through an informal “network” of families that made Fantin feel “supported in going to the administration” to discuss accommodations for name changes, pronoun use, and gender-inclusive bathrooms. 

The overall culture of exclusion at EHS, however, made it difficult for transgender and non-binary students to feel validated. 

“I was keeping a pretty positive public-facing image when people would misgender me…But I was very much internally struggling and at home—would be very upset, trying to figure out my gender,” Lampron said.  

Though Kratz is approaching his final years of college, their high school experiences remain influential on his identity.

“I didn’t come out until last March…because I had so much residual anxiety around coming out,” Kratz said. “It took me until this year before I finally felt comfortable to actually put a binder on in public again.”

This piece was originally published in Zephyrus’ print edition on Jan. 13.

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