Pride alliance expands to new heights


Jordin Baker

Teachers Erin Ancelet (left) and Tim Case (right) along with senior Hannah Wilson lead the first pride alliance meeting on Sept 6. They all hope to improve the club this year.

For those who may not know, SHS is home to a wide array of clubs. Ranging from book clubs to athletics to the newly-adopted Philosophy club, there is a myriad of chances for students to get involved.

However, there is one club, Pride Alliance, that is expanding a lot this year as new and returning events will be making appearances on the club’s agenda for the 2018-2019 school year.

Pride Alliance is a club for any students that support or identify with the LGBTQ+ community. However, according to co-sponsor of Pride Alliance Tim Case, you do not have to be LGBTQ+ to be in the club.

“The main purpose of the club (is) to provide a place where people who belong to the LGBTQ community can feel safe, meet with others like them and just discuss any stresses or concerns that they have in their lives,” Case said. “(It is) a safe place.”

All around, the co-leaders, including Case, co-sponsor Erin Ancelet and president Hannah Wilson, aim to create a viable, safe place where LGBTQ+ students, especially those who might be questioning their identity, and their allies can congregate without fear of being bullied or judged for their sexual orientation, according to Case. In addition to eliminating judging and bullying, he mentioned that confidentiality is a main priority of the club.

“I am looking forward to meeting new members and hearing their stories, listening to their struggles and hopefully helping them in whatever way I possibly can and spreading a bigger message through the voices of many individuals,” Ancelet said.

Starting at the top, the co-leaders of Pride Alliance are planning their “big” event for this year with big intentions on reshaping the way the LGBTQ+ community is perceived and referenced to by outsiders. This project will be known as the ‘No G Word’ campaign, according to Case. He mentioned that this project is based on the original ‘No R word’ campaign that took place at SHS in the past.

He hopes that the Pride Alliance counterpart will generate similar results to that of the ‘No R word’ version: lessened use of the R word, or in the case of Pride Alliance, lessened use of the G word.

“We want to get kids to quit saying the word ‘gay’ in a negative way,” Case said. “In other words,  when they don’t like something they’ll say, ‘That’s gay.’ We want to stop that because it is offensive to the LGBTQ community.”

Besides the ‘No G Word’ campaign, Case has disclosed a number of smaller events that will make an appearance this time around or have a possibility of debuting.

For example, last year’s Pride Alliance members put their artistic abilities to work, using chalk to decorate the sidewalks at SHS. With every stroke, swipe and swing of the vibrantly hued utensils, participants adorned the sidewalks around the bus lots with many positive illustrations, symbols and expressions. In doing so, past students were able to convey a message of LGBTQ+ equality and acceptance. According to Case, this event is one they will repeat.

“(Hopefully), we are able to be more persistent and vocal about (our objectives in Pride Alliance),” Ancelet said.

Another series of events that Pride Alliance may incorporate is social outings as a group, according to Case.

“(It would be) just a social outing, whether it is just to go out for pizza or (something because) we always stay (at school),” Case said. 

Since club members meet only once a month, meetings are usually held in a classroom at SHS, but Case has mentioned that the co-leaders are considering these “social outings” as an alternative to remaining in the classroom. Nonetheless, the club’s monthly meetings provide LGBTQ+ students and supporters with an opportunity to meet and socialize with each other.

Pride Alliance has another new event that could possibility happen this year, which is the inclusion of an outside, guest speaker.

Even with the new school year beginning to unravel, Pride Alliance president Wilson briefly shared her plans for the club and end of the year goals.

“I want the Pride Alliance club to become an actual family,” Wilson said. “I don’t want it to just be like ‘oh we go once a month.’ I want it to be (where) we can talk to each other (and get together) outside of school.”