First LGBT high school opens in Phoenix

PHOENIX - The Valley now has a high school geared specifically toward lesbian, gay, bi-sexual and transgender students.

It's the first of its kind in Arizona and one of only a handful in the entire country.

Tyler, a junior at the school, recently enrolled at Q High , seeking a more tolerant environment to go to school in after dealing with bullies at a previous high school.

"Everyone here is open and welcoming," said Tyler. "Everyone says hi, everyone wants to know you."

Q High opened its doors last month in the hopes of catering to students like Tyler.

The school's research shows students in the LGBTQ community were dropping out of traditional schools and not re-enrolling.

Q High hopes to change that.

"For me personally, it's about creating a safe space for our youth to feel welcome," said Q High Program Coordinator Kado Stewart.  "We're offering an alternative to students who do not feel safe at (traditional) schools."

During the day Q High operates as an Arizona Virtual Academy school meaning students take science, math, English and other classes online.
But the school's building also houses a youth center that provides resources specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender students such as a class on coming out.

"We feel confident what we are doing is fulfilling a need," said Q High Deputy Director Micheal Weakley.

So far, 14 students have enrolled at Q High.

The current facility at 3rd Street and Osborn Road in Phoenix can accommodate 25 students.

Tyler said by being around people who are like minded, students are able to learn without worrying what others think of them.

"Here we are given an education where we feel equal," Tyler said.

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