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Dallas College Shines Celebrates Pride Month: Saul Andrade Studies Education To Create Safe Space for Students

Last updated on June 21, 2022

What has your experience been like at Dallas College?
I haven’t experienced any type of discrimination, and there have been several LGBTQ+ students I’ve met and grown close to. Coming to RCHS from a different school in Richardson, it was challenging leaving my friends who I grew up with. When I was younger, it was difficult because I was discriminated against. Starting here was like a clean slate and a fresh start. There was no prior judgment from others. There are many people who like having me in their class, which I think is very nice. While it was sad leaving my other school, it was worth it to come here.

What is your coming out story?
I started to have some questions in eighth grade. I was raised in a religious household, so I didn’t have much of an opportunity to fully understand and deal with the way I was feeling. I noticed I didn’t have the same interest in women as I do in men. I started talking to some people about it, like other students, and some counselors at school, but not my family. I had a lot of questions. I officially came out my freshman year in high school. I received a lot of acceptance from it at school. I had little to no discrimination. I felt fully embraced and supported. It wasn’t a big ordeal because it was just something about me that others found out. At home, it was a bit of a different story. I came out to my parents one night during my freshman year. It didn’t go too well. To this day, they’ve respected this part of me but don’t necessarily accept it. My older brother, however, has accepted me as I am and told me I shouldn’t have to suppress myself regardless of who (my parents) are. My older sisters said that if I was happy, who were they to interfere. It was comforting to hear this from my family.

What advice would you give to someone who is unsure about embracing who they truly are?
Find your true interests first and get support from those you trust. There are counselors here to help you. Counseling definitely helped me.

One of the most encouraging messages I’ve received was “you are normal.” I spent many years afraid because I thought the feelings I had were weird and wrong. Constantly hearing those words gave me a sense of comfort and acceptance

What are you looking forward to for your future?
I’m an education major and hope to become a teacher one day. I want to provide a safe space for my students to the extent of my legal power. I want to help them overcome any fears they may have. Since I’ll graduate a little younger, I think that will help students talk to me about the challenges they may be facing. I want them to come to me for help academically, but also for guidance and advice they can use in their life. I want to be the teacher whose class they look forward to coming to each time.

How has Dallas College helped you in your journey?
The fact that the college has no tolerance for any type of discrimination is very helpful. Everyone during my two semesters here has seen me as a person. They don’t see me as the color of my skin, what I identify as or even as a specific gender. They see me as an individual, a person. I’m treated equally here. I think enforcing equality in school helps to eliminate racism, homophobia and many other things.

Published inCampus LifeSocial Responsibility and Inclusion