Spartan of the Week: Dustin Laufenberg


Matt Staff

One of Laufenberg's primary focuses is PRISM, a club created to foster inclusion.

Emma Jester, Print Director

Finding yourself can be very challenging, especially in high school. Dustin Laufenburg is a junior who is involved in a variety of activities, including BEAST robotics, Vocal Collective, Latin Club, the drama department, and Gay-Straight Alliance, now being rebranded as PRISM.

Laufenburg describes his experiences as a transgender male, how they have shaped who he is today, and advice for those who might be struggling to find themselves.

One of his main focuses is PRISM, in which he explains he was “ kind’ve thrown into the role of president”. He mentioned that the club will be switching gears from focusing on just the  social aspect to concentrating on outreach and activism within our community and school.

Laufenberg continues that the goal of PRISM moving forward is to be a club that is inviting—not just to queer people, but anyone who wants to have an open conversation about issues important to them.

Being a transgender person himself, Laufenberg describes that finding one’s identity is “is a long process, trying to figure out who you are.”

While not many have to overcome gender dysphoria, or the overwhelming stress and discomfort that many gender non-conforming trans people experience, struggling to feel comfortable in your own skin is something a lot of us can relate to.

“It took me a long time to be able to be comfortable with myself — that I’m loud, flamboyant, and kind of feminine [too]”, Laufenberg explains. He is now comfortable with the fact that he is both a unique and ordinary person. Awkward, quiet, anxious—all typical characteristics of teenagers in high school.

Laufenberg’s insight on being proud of who you are and confident in your own skin is a truth we can all benefit from. “I guess the change that really happened was I learned not to care. You have to learn not to care what people say or what people think. You just have to go out there and exist and if people say things, who cares. It’s not your problem, it’s their problem.”

For those trying to find themselves, Laufenberg has simple advice: “You do you.”