By Edvina Robinson ‘18 and Evelyn Perez ‘18
To create a safe space for LGBTQ students at our school, the Pride club meets to discuss topics concerning the LGBTQ community.
The club was formed a few weeks ago. It is run by the club president, Emelyn Zacarias ’18 who works alongside club advisor, Ms. Elizabeth Bouiss, to make the club a safe place for the students of the LGBTQ community.
“Since this is the first year [that] the club has been around, my goal is to make sure no one is uncomfortable in our space,” said Zacarias. “I really just want this to be fun for everyone and for kids to be comfortable with who they are. It’s conforming that there are more people who actually identify as these different things. I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to start this club, just to get a bunch of people together because I know that sometimes, depending on who you hang out with and stuff like that, there’s not a lot of people who are ready to come out, so to make a group where everyone can come in and be included is great.”
Club members express their opinions about problems concerning the LGBTQ community without the fear of being judged. Club members also express that it feels great to talk to people who are also able to relate to how they feel. Currently, many people are showing up at the meetings.
“It’s really comforting because it’s not only me feeling a certain way,” said club member, Arpa Paiel ’18. “There are others that I can compare with and depend on.”
Ryan Jenner ‘19 said, “Every other person at Midwood is either not cis or not straight and I thought that it would be very fun to see the club. I also thought that it would be a good use of my time.”
Briana Joseph ‘18 said, “It’s great to talk about hard issues everyday people that I know face.”
This club gets support not only from its members, but from teachers too. The support from Ms. Bouiss and other LGBTQ kids is what inspired Zacarias to create the club.
“I am really supporting the Pride club because I think the school needed a safe place that met regularly for people who are in the LGBTQ community,” said Ms. Bouiss. “It’s definitely a safe place where they can share what they’re going through and what’s important to them right now. [The club is] so new that it’s still in formation about what direction it will go.”
Not only does the Pride club want to be able to provide a safe environment for people in Midwood, but Zacarias would also love to raise money for LGBTQ shelters. She would also love for the club to be able to go to events supporting the LGBTQ community such as the Pride March.
Ms. Bouiss said, “I don’t want to see anyone feeling singled out and their rights not promoted and protected, so the climate right now is difficult for certain groups. I think this club is important.”
According to Zacarias, both the Gay-Straight Alliance club and Pride club address the same thing.
Zacarias said, “Well, I think we both have the same principles, creating a safe space for LGBTQ students to be who they are. If you can’t make it to Pride [club], go to Gay Straight Alliance [club] or vice versa. It’s amazing.”
The club meets on Wednesday, periods 10 and 11 in room 483.