Written by: Erich
Edited by: Jaeho
Visuals by: Sarah
As we officially head into Pride Month, ISM joins individuals all over the globe in celebrating the LGBTQ+ community. Pride Month is celebrated every June in commemoration of the 1969 Stonewall Uprising in Manhattan. It’s an event that continues to be one of the biggest milestones within the LGBTQ+ community, paving way for the liberation of many queer members in our own communities.
In accordance with Pride Month, hosting ISM’s first-ever Pride Week is our very own Gender Sexuality Alliance Club (GSA). Throughout the week of May 31 to June 4, the GSA council has hosted a multitude of activities that aim to inform the ISM community about global issues concerning the LGBTQ+ community. Aiko, the co-president of GSA, explained that their objective was to, “allow students and teachers to be aware of the accomplishments and the beauty of the LGBTQ+ community, in addition to the hardships and discrimination its members face.”
To start off Pride Week, GSA invited guest speaker, Emily Meadows, to introduce the perks or ‘superpowers’ of having a GSA within school communities. This was followed by an interactive discussion on Tuesday amongst students and GSA members, concerning the achievements of women and members of the LGBTQ+ community. On Wednesday, in collaboration with the Sustainability Council, TED speaker France Villarta and Filipino Jiu-Jitsu World Champion Meggie Ochoa were both invited for an open panel discussion with members of the ISM community with regards to the fifth sustainable development goal of gender equality established by the United Nations. Thursday was dedicated to a fun jeopardy game open to all ISM students. Finally, to close off the week, there was a club screening of a movie, But I’m A Cheerleader, following a stereotypical cheerleader’s journey in discovering her sexual orientation. Additionally, throughout the week, GSA hosted a poster fundraiser to help fund future events that they may be hosting.
Overall, this week has been of great importance in creating a safer space for the LGBTQ+ community within ISM. Aiko also explains that, “this being ISM’s first ever Pride Week is quite telling of the culture that we have surrounding topics on gender and sexuality. For this reason, our purpose is to continue promoting GSA Pride Weeks so that ISM’s LGBTQ+ community feels secure, recognized, and valued.”
It is vital for the ISM community to continue in its journey of understanding and embracing the LGBTQ+ community— having a Pride Week being one step in the right direction. As freshman Phoebe expressed , “ISM’s first pride week is a big, big milestone in the betterment of our community”, so it’s important for us to recognize the team that made it possible. Thus, on behalf of the ISM community, I’d like to extend my gratitude towards Aiko, Yiyang, Sirah, Zoe, Selma, Diana and their supervisor, Ms. Stephanie Tao, for taking on the responsibility of preparing ISM’s first Pride Week.
Through Pride Week, ISM can hopefully learn to become a more inclusive community, one which is accepting of all kinds of people, as our identity is a huge composition of who we are, and is not something that should be compromised for the sake of fitting in.
Library of Congress. “About | Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer Pride Month Library of Congress.” The Library of Congress, http://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about. Accessed 2 June 2021.