Tyrone Eagle Eye News

Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

Led by Tyrone art teacher Deanna Mazurak, the club meets at least once every two weeks.

Some+of+the+members+of+the+TAMS-HS+LBGT%2B+Support+Group.+Front+left+to+right%3A+Ms.+Mazurak%2C+Lance+Hockenberry%2C+Thad+Woomer%0ABack+left+to+right+%3A+Guidance+Department+intern+Ms.+Katrina+Grigoryan%2C+Landon+Gill%2C+Eddie+Fessler-Laporte%2C+Megan+Rhodes%2C+Meredith+Carper%2C+Shay+Shawley.
Back to Article
Back to Article

Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

Some of the members of the TAMS-HS LBGT+ Support Group. Front left to right: Ms. Mazurak, Lance Hockenberry, Thad Woomer
Back left to right : Guidance Department intern Ms. Katrina Grigoryan, Landon Gill, Eddie Fessler-Laporte, Megan Rhodes, Meredith Carper, Shay Shawley.

Some of the members of the TAMS-HS LBGT+ Support Group. Front left to right: Ms. Mazurak, Lance Hockenberry, Thad Woomer Back left to right : Guidance Department intern Ms. Katrina Grigoryan, Landon Gill, Eddie Fessler-Laporte, Megan Rhodes, Meredith Carper, Shay Shawley.

Some of the members of the TAMS-HS LBGT+ Support Group. Front left to right: Ms. Mazurak, Lance Hockenberry, Thad Woomer Back left to right : Guidance Department intern Ms. Katrina Grigoryan, Landon Gill, Eddie Fessler-Laporte, Megan Rhodes, Meredith Carper, Shay Shawley.

Some of the members of the TAMS-HS LBGT+ Support Group. Front left to right: Ms. Mazurak, Lance Hockenberry, Thad Woomer Back left to right : Guidance Department intern Ms. Katrina Grigoryan, Landon Gill, Eddie Fessler-Laporte, Megan Rhodes, Meredith Carper, Shay Shawley.

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Until very recently, students who identify as LGBT+ have lacked support in school. Despite efforts to be treated equally, these students often face discrimination or stigma from other students and even adults. To combat this problem locally, a group of students at Tyrone Middle and High School have formed an LGBT+ support group led by middle and high school art teacher Deanna Mazurak and guidance intern Katrina Grigoryan.

The club offers support and a safe environment to discuss issues relevant to them, such as discrimination, coming out, and other issues that these students face on a daily basis.

“When I was [a teenager], I needed something like this. I had zero adults in my life that I could talk to, and that’s part of the reason I became a teacher,” said Mazurak.

When I was [a teenager], I needed something like this. I had zero adults in my life that I could talk to, and that’s part of the reason I became a teacher”

— Ms. Deanna Mazurak

Mazurak, who has always loved art and wanted to teach art since she was young, was also motivated to become a teacher in order to be a positive role model for her students.

“My goal essentially is for kids to have a comfortable place to come, eventually build up their confidence within them, so that they are able to walk out into the world and have the comfort in themselves [so they] don’t feel like they have to hide who they are,” said Mazurak.

According to the students, the club is a very positive outlet for them and they appreciate the support that they get from it.

“It has given me an outlet to talk about being LGBT in general, because I usually don’t get to talk about it a lot,” said eighth grader Eddie Fessler.

Being part of the LGBT community herself, Mazurak understands what the students experience and she hopes to create a safe and comforting environment to help them navigate school.

“Ever since I could remember I’ve always known that I was different from [many] other kids,” said Mazurak.

Fear of bullying and seclusion from other students can lead to emotional issues for some LGBT students. This is especially prevalent for trans students, when their old name and gender is said to them instead of their new identity.

It has given me an outlet to talk about being LGBT in general, because I usually don’t get to talk about it a lot”

— Eddie Fessler

Some students have support from family and friends, but unfortunately some do not.

“My mom is okay with the LGBT community because we have other people in our family that are part of it,” says junior Landon Gill.

For other students who do not have support at home, the group gives them a place to work things out.

“I don’t really talk to my parents that often about LGBT stuff, but when we do, we get into a lot of arguments about it, and in a way, it pushes me away from coming out to them,” said one member of the group.

Students interested in joining the group should visit the guidance office or message Ms. Mazurak at [email protected] for more information.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
About the Writer
Taylor Laber, Staff Writer

こんにちは!僕はテイラです。

Oh wait, that’s not English.

Hi, I’m Taylor. I don’t normally do bios, but TL;DR, I’m a homosapien...

37 Comments

37 Responses to “Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support”

  1. keira weber on May 10th, 2019 8:53 am

    I think this group was a good idea because it makes people feel comfortable with who they are.

  2. colin yaudes on May 10th, 2019 10:02 am

    i am embarrassed to be apart of this school

  3. Jake Taylor on May 10th, 2019 1:57 pm

    I agree with Colin

  4. Jaiden Engle on May 13th, 2019 1:26 pm

    LET THEM BE WHO THEY WANT TO BE, DONT JUDGE THEM BECAUASE YOU HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO, If you are embarresed to be a part in this school then leave, imagine you had a gay brother or sister or really good gay or lesbian friend, then think about being disrespectful to someone elses choices, Think before you speak bud….

  5. Alivia Wills on May 14th, 2019 8:37 am

    You guys act like you´re the only ones that get bullied all because your gay? You guys all want these special privileges whenever your literally the same as everyone else. Im sick of seeing gay pride flags and posters around the school because thats not really what i want to be looking at while eating in the cafeteria and while walking to my next period. You can be apart of a group all you want but dont be trying to force this stuff on all of the other students because not everyone agrees with this like y’all do.

  6. Kaila Moon on May 14th, 2019 8:49 am

    It’s one thing to have a support group and another to advertise it all around the school, I’m not going to go all out on my opinion an what not but I think posting all about it is lowkey pushing it on all of us, publicly advertising the gay pride flag is a bit much especially when not everyone supports it, not hating or anything but doesn’t everyone get bullied at a point in their lives? it’s 2019 at this point people express their opinion as much as they need and at some point, they are going to have to understand not to take everything to heart because people are gonna say how they feel like it or not. Tyrone may be a public school but if they want to be treated like everyone else they should take a different approach like keeping it in the group and off the school’s walls that’s just drawing attention to them and giving people more of an opportunity to express their feelings about it.

  7. Jace McCartney on May 14th, 2019 8:50 am

    Honestly, just let people be what they want to be. We don’t need a comment war over here. If you guys have discrepancies with each other, please talk it out somewhere else.

  8. Brayden Daniels on May 14th, 2019 10:11 am

    I think that people should be respected and I also think the one not so nice comment was a joke thank you. No disrespect.

  9. Jace McCartney on May 14th, 2019 10:26 am

    It seems that a comment war has broken out. Also, I agree. This should not be forced upon us. I’m just trying to keep everyone from getting salty at each other.

  10. Eva Jean Durbin on May 14th, 2019 10:56 am

    You all constantly talk about gay people pushing themselves onto you, pushing their culture onto you FORCING you to look at it, however, you do realize that might be seen as, well, a tad hypocritical? My input- heterosexuals have been in the media forever, and GUESS WHAT! I’m still bisexual. You’re not gonna magically become gay or lesbian the moment you look at a pride flag you know that? I have no idea what you MIGHT be talking about, sure seeing rainbow flags might make you uncomfortable, and you might not want to see them, however… you guys do know there’s a thing called looking away and minding your own business right? Every other club is allowed to advertise themselves and you guys say nothing about it! However, the moment the LGBT+ club/support group wants to do something and does it it’s a big problem- you see something wrong with that, right?
    Nobody LGBT+ wants special privileges, we just want to be treated like every other normal human being, while being ourselves at the same time.

  11. shyann kephart on May 14th, 2019 11:19 am

    i agree with both kaila and alivia they have good points.

  12. Kiara Scheidell on May 14th, 2019 12:31 pm

    We’re not trying to push it on everyone. We’re just trying to be more appreciated. I have a lot of friends who suffer from depression and anxiety and have to conform to the norm just to fit in. It’s not only LGBTQ+ people, but it’s also just the general public. It’s what happens and I understand, but as a person in the LGBTQ+ community, I hate seeing others get hurt. I hate watching as a kid gets pushed against the wall because of liking some game or a student being crowded by people who are no good for them pushing them to join a certain group.

    Those are examples taken from my friends who don’t go to this school but deal with it in different states, counties, towns, and communities. If we want to promote ourselves we have the right to do so. School clubs are allowed to promote themselves so why shouldn’t we? I’m not apart of the group but I have a couple of friends in the group.

    Bullying is normal, it shouldn’t be. We’re discriminated, loads of people are, and apparently, that’s normal too.

    News Flash folks- Being normal is being bland and conforming to social norms. Being unique is being your own person, but how can we do that if everyone’s close-minded? I’m not saying ya’ll are but, at some point, we have to step back and realized are we doing more bad than good?

  13. Emma Bartel on May 14th, 2019 12:39 pm

    “I’m being forced to like this group,” I heard this saying all day. No one is forcing you to do anything. All they want is to be accepted so suck it up and deal with it. If you don’t like the group, then don’t like it. You don’t have to be rude about it, you don’t have to say it sucks in front of them because if you like something or you wanted to have support, you wouldn’t want people to be dissing you in life especially in front of you so don’t do it to them. It like the football article. It was a girls opinion and everyone went crazy over it. Seriously do you guys not understand the word opinion? its a view or judgment formed about something, it not a FACT or KNOWLEDGE. Anyways we have more important things to worry about then if a boy is kissing a boy or if a girl is kissing another girl. Also if you want to express yourself with a religion or something you can. That another thing I been hearing a lot today has been “Well I can’t hang crosses all over the school” If a student wanted to that, then go ahead because the only people that can’t express their religion in schools are teachers. Also, another point that people have been using against them is well everyone gets bullied at some point in their life. While that is true, if you were bullied wouldn’t you want to stop it and treat people the way you would want to be treated? it goes rather you been or not. So don’t bully people if you don’t want to be treated like crap.

  14. Ronnie Kerr on May 14th, 2019 1:37 pm

    I think this group was a good idea because it makes people feel comfortable with who they are. i am embarrassed to be apart of this school.
    I agree with Colin You guys act like you´re the only ones that get bullied all because your gay? You guys all want these special privileges whenever your literally the same as everyone else. Im sick of seeing gay pride flags and posters around the school because thats not really what i want to be looking at while eating in the cafeteria and while walking to my next period. You can be apart of a group all you want but dont be trying to force this stuff on all of the other students because not everyone agrees with this like y’all do. It’s one thing to have a support group and another to advertise it all around the school, I’m not going to go all out on my opinion an what not but I think posting all about it is lowkey pushing it on all of us, publicly advertising the gay pride flag is a bit much especially when not everyone supports it, not hating or anything but doesn’t everyone get bullied at a point in their lives? it’s 2019 at this point people express their opinion as much as they need and at some point, they are going to have to understand not to take everything to heart because people are gonna say how they feel like it or not. Tyrone may be a public school but if they want to be treated like everyone else they should take a different approach like keeping it in the group and off the school’s walls that’s just drawing attention to them and giving people more of an opportunity to express their feelings about it.

  15. Taylor Walters on May 14th, 2019 6:57 pm

    I think that it is a bit much to be hanging posters all over the place about gays, especially in the lunch room while everyone is trying to eat. If we don´t support it then why force it in our faces? Everyone gets bullied, but hanging posters is going to get worse because not everyone agrees with it, and you can’t force it on us. Having your own little group is fine but bringing it all through our school is pretty embarrassing to our school. I don’t blame people for going against this because it is really embarrassing to be apart of this school district. We can´t talk about god, but we can have gay rights? Pretty sad. If we say how we are against gays were the ones to blame, but they post their opinions all around the school and expect us to agree? When we state our opinions and were the bully’s. You guys need to grow up, seriously. What happens when you go out into the real world? Are you going to have a support group follow you around because you can’t take people’s opinions, clearly. When you go out into the real world are you going to protest to make everyone agree with you? Its life, we all have our own opinions, and we don’t have to agree with you, and we don’t have to support you. We have our own rights, our own beliefs. Everyone gets bullied, and putting yourself out there is a bigger target for yourself. You guys act like children about it. What about our rights? I´m sure everyone has their own opinion on this, and you guys act like just because your gay everyone will support it by shoving it down our throats.

  16. Addison Warren on May 15th, 2019 8:04 am

    If you are part of this group, don’t let anyone get to you. You are a human being like the rest of us. None of us are special. We are all created equally and loved equally. Don’t ruin that. It doesn’t matter what gender you are, where you come from, what color you are, or what you like, what does matter is that God is always here for us. Sure, there are bullys out there, but they will not help us. God will help us. Always remember to stay postitive and that God is with you guys. STRIVE FOR SUCCESS, OBSERVE SAFETY, ACT WITH INTEGRETY, RESPECT ALL. TODAY, WE SOAR!!! #89

  17. Alivia Wills on May 15th, 2019 8:18 am

    All of you guys are getting butthurt over my comment. I was saying what I think about this group and what they´re doing. If you are so upset about it then dont read it.

  18. shyann kephart on May 15th, 2019 8:19 am

    I think that this is all so stupid. Some people say that we can have our own opinion on things, but yet we come on here and say what they are and we get bashed for it. Also, if one of the posters gets ripped down not once, not twice, but three times. And that’s not a sign to all of you. If we were to start a black lives matter club/group we would hear all about it. If we can’t have our own opinion on things then what’s the point of ” speak your mind.” And it’s kinda funny, this article came up last Friday and only had got 4 comments, but when Tuesday comes around, and there are posters up on the walls, it gets 14+ comments. Weird, right?

  19. Angel Briggs on May 15th, 2019 8:21 am

    Okay so. I’m pan and Ace. I just wanna say some things. We have an LGBTQ club yes, we put up posters yes. But listen to us. We aren’t asking you guys and girls to come into the community. We are just asking that we get accepted in this school as one of you. We are all human, our “gay” is not going to rub off on you, and we are doing no harm. If you people don’t want to see the posters then don’t look at them. Leave them alone and let us be us. I’m sick and tired of our posters that we worked hard on, getting ripped down and thrown away. it’s one thing to joke around about it not meaning anything, and it’s another to rip our posters down and hate on us. We aren’t doing any harm. Stop hating and just support us! We don’t mean harm, we aren’t forcing you to be “gay” so just act like we are normal people like you because we are. Just because we like the same gender doesn’t mean anything. Let us be us and we will let you be you. please and thank you!

  20. Brayden Daniels on May 15th, 2019 8:23 am

    ALRIGHT IVE HAD ENOUGH! Somebody disable the comments on this article. I don’t think this is what this article was meant to be. Please, we need to stop this madness this is not a healthy argument and a very touchy subject. I am NOT taking a side, I just think this should not happen here, please do not allow comments anymore. Thank you.

  21. Kylee Shaffer on May 15th, 2019 8:24 am

    Honestly, I’m one to keep quiet about my feelings. But for everyone that is causing drama or picking on others for this is really wrong. Sure, you don’t go around speaking your mind about heterosexuality, so when homosexuals do it for their sexuality, you think it’s wrong or they are just thriving for attention. The thing is though, you don’t have to worry about someone looking at you in disgust or saying cruel things because of your sexuality. You don’t have to have that anxiety that consumes you in fear that no one will accept you. There is no criticism in heterosexuality, but there is criticism for homosexuality everywhere. Hell, you can’t even walk in the hallway without hearing someone use “gay” as a criticizing word or calling someone names relating to homosexuality as insults. It’s quite sad that even most teachers will not do anything to address this. Yes, TEACHERS. No, this group is not forcing anything onto anyone. If you are really that homophobic and find it that disgusting, then please feel free to have a walk to the guidance office to let out your feelings of how much you hate gays. And regarding the comments above, yes, not only do kids in the LGBTQ+ get bullied, but so do others, and I am clearly aware of that. People get picked on or talked about behind someone’s back all of the time, and it’s honestly quite sad. Does putting up signs about bullying help anyone though? No, in most cases, it doesn’t. These posters were put up so even if someone closeted sees them, they could feel somewhat accepted, and know that they have a safe place to go to. “I am embarrassed to be a part of this school.” So am I. I’m embarrassed to be a part of such a cruel and unaccepting place, where anyone is in fear of just being themselves. I’m embarrassed to be a part of something that has straight couples making out in the hallways but the moment two people of the same gender even hold hands, there’s a catastrophe. This support group was made so LGBTQ+ didn’t have to be afraid of who they are. So that they could finally have some sort of outlet or safe place. If this causes me to get “hate” as well, so be it. But im not just going to sit back and watch my friends cry or get bullied because they were trying to spread awareness.

  22. Jace McCartney on May 15th, 2019 8:25 am

    Everyone, please stop arguing. You guys are just making the problem worse. If you have nothing nice to comment PLEASE keep it to yourselves. Personally, I don’t care what people are, but it’s not ethical to discriminate against people just because of who they are.

  23. Jacob Scott on May 15th, 2019 8:53 am

    Well. this is going over as well as a the Football and Abortion posts some time ago.
    i will start by saying that you are all right as to speaking your mind be it in favor or not of the above post. i will say that many points have been made to both sides although i think and hope that some of those who have commented on this fiasco are joking. i will say that the photo above has three good friends of mine in it. and the disrespect handed to them and Other LGBTQ+ is uncalled for. these are your class mates, if you say things as to the affect to silence them you are silencing your schools voice. Most of you would flip out if a post on eagle eye about something you enjoyed was met with comments such as the ones some of you posted. also while you type upon your keyboard remember who you can thank for it, Alan Turing a man who was castrated by the British gov for being gay. after he invented the computer and cracked the German enigma code shortening WW2 by years. maybe you don’t care about a smart Brit, but maybe you care about The USA then maybe you should thank Kazimierz Michał Władysław Wiktor Pułaski or simply Casimir Pulaski the “father of American cavalry” who we now know as a intersex male (ie born neither male nor female but between sexes) but he chose to be a male, fight for Poland and the Young USA. He died in the siege of Savannah leading a charge of French and American Cavalry.
    in the end, don’t take down others, you having freedom of speech don’t waste it on people who are living the way they want to live. use your voice for something more productive, if enough people shout someone will listen. but this isn’t worth shouting over, you all have less then 20 days make the then school better in those days till summer instead of excluding people who where happy about something find anything else to do. like that fork knifee game you youngens like playing.

  24. Kendra Wertz on May 15th, 2019 10:13 am

    Keep up the awesome work guys! We all deserve to feel accepted and loved regardless of our preferences or how we identify. You guys are being the light that people in the darkness need! Awesome work!

  25. Luke Hite on May 15th, 2019 10:34 am

    By no means am I trying to start arguments or problems with you people by writing this but I am writing this because someone needs to speak the truth about the matter in hand. I’m sorry to say but like the posters, the article, and all the other stuff is a bit much like for real. I understand your purposes for putting the posters up but like I said there a bit much like you guys or excuse me, you people put these posters up and acted like you didn’t know they were going to get torn apart or taken down. Like what did you think was going to happen, everyone was just gonna be okay with it and be happy go lucky and join in on the cause? And I understand the reasoning for the group, like be who you want to be but when you’re trying to shove that you are this or you are that down the student’s throats that’s crossing the line. And like putting all these posters up all of a sudden and starting to make a big deal about your sexuality it’s ridiculous, it’s just causing problems. And honestly like if I wanted to put up my own posters about what I am and who I am I would be in trouble. I guess I could say I understand the reasoning for this group but like Its doing more bad than good, and I don’t really have a problem with there being this type of group but like when it’s being like publically broadcasted it looks bad. It not only looks bad on the school and the community but it also looks bad on the other students here at the school. Lastly, All these recent festivities are drawing a lot of negative attention to the Tyrone community!

  26. Devin Phillips on May 15th, 2019 11:04 am

    CAN WE JUST LOVE EACH OTHER? :]

  27. Jordan M Biller on May 15th, 2019 11:27 am

    I agree with both Kaila and Alivia they have good points.

  28. Christopher Davis on May 15th, 2019 11:36 am

    we do have to like this group if we don’t and speak our opinion then we get backlash saying we are a bad person and if your reading this and saying “that’s not true ” look up a media star saying they don’t like gays they get backlash a lot, because people think it right to just like groups like this.

  29. Emma Wertz on May 15th, 2019 12:20 pm

    Let’s not have an internet war thanks! Commenting and arguing online does nothing, to be honest. Half the time you don’t even know who you are having an argument with! If you’ve got a problem take it up with administration, not your fellow classmates. Or even talk to them face to face. Things over the internet can be easily interpreted, people may think the complete opposite of the point you are trying to get across. 🙂

  30. Shay Shawley on May 15th, 2019 1:53 pm

    You don´t have to like this group. You can have your opinion, but if you´re going to act out to POSTERS to let people know there is a safe place; that´s not just stating your opinion anymore. Many people have been doing anti-gay/LGBT flyers, cards, etc. It´s sad because you can´t even let closeted people know there is a safe place because of homophobic people. We are not ¨shoving it down your throats.¨ We put things up so people knew that it´s okay to be LGBT. When I was younger, I was too scared to come out and this is the reason why. It´s 2019. I understand that some people think it´s gross, trust me, I understand. I think watching you guys suck tongues in the hallways are gross, but I don´t say anything. I´m tired of the stares, comments, people coming at me when I came out HOW MANY YEARS AGO. It´s sad that we came out and everyone is shocked when this club has been open for 10 YEARS. We all knew not everyone was going to be okay with it, but if you seriously are going to rebel against people trying to be more open then your personality is messed up. We are not doing it for advantages or pity or whatever. We did it to spread that it is okay to love whoever you love. But obviously that isn´t okay in Tyrone. We know others get bullied, trust me. I was bullied before I even came out. But we thought if we could help at least one person then that´s good. It is obvious being diverse in this school is bad. Funny, people who used to act like they supported this is now against it because of POSTERS.Thank you for teaching us that we shouldn´t be ourselves.

  31. Jace McCartney on May 15th, 2019 1:55 pm

    Angel, you are accepted. Bullying because of god knows what is sadly normal in schools. You just have to deal with it and move on.

  32. Rory Quigley on May 15th, 2019 4:33 pm

    Honestly, the posters did more harm than good. They should’ve just left it at the article.

  33. Addison Warren on May 16th, 2019 8:05 am

    Guys, please just accept the LGBTQ Club and all their hard work. They don’t mean no harm, and yet here some of us are, bullying them for being theirselves. We should just let them be theirselves. They leave us alone, we leave them alone. Don’t bother them.

  34. Eric Sims on May 16th, 2019 9:21 am

    I agree Kylee Shaffer

  35. Angel Briggs on May 16th, 2019 9:42 am

    Jace, I know bullying is normal. But what is the point in it? Just to get some laughs out of it? If you wanna laugh then go watch some stupid tv show.

  36. brandon Escala on May 16th, 2019 9:43 am

    I think that right now, we must learn to tolerate each other instead of accepting each other. Hopefully, there will be a day where we can accept each other, but tolerance of a difference in opinion must come first.

  37. Addison Warren on May 16th, 2019 11:32 am

    I agree with Angel and Brandon.

Navigate Left
  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    YAN Presents $2,500 to Panzi USA Foundation

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    TAHS Freshman Win FFA T-Shirt Design Contest

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Tyrone Indoor Percussion Places First at Chapters

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    FFA

    Tyrone FFA Holds its 81st Annual Awards Banquet

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    FFA

    Second Graders Learn about Agriculture for Ag Literacy Week

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Tyrone Star-Lites Prepare for Chapter Championships

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Let’s BAND Together: Learn to Play an Instrument in Fifth Grade

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Eagle Eye Comes Up Big During Awards Season

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Dance Fusion Ends Competition Season in Pittsburgh

  • Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support

    Clubs and Activities News

    Tyrone Star-Lite Twirlers’ Win Streak Continues

Navigate Right
The voice of the Tyrone Area High School
Tyrone LGBT+ Student Group Offers Support