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Students celebrate queer culture, participate in activism during ToBeGLAD Day

Courtesy of NNHS GSA

North celebrated queer representation and spread awareness on queer experiences with various panels highlighting the voices of the LGBTQ+ community during ToBeGLAD Day Thursday, April 11.

Organized by the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club, a day of Silence followed ToBeGLAD day in solidarity with LGBTQ+ youth Thursday, April 11.

According to freshman Alison McPherson, a member of the GSA, planning for ToBeGLAD Day and Day of Silence started as early as January. 

“We’ve been, every single week for the entirety of Tiger block, working on planning this and getting Erin Reed to be here for a zoom call and getting the Day of Silence organized, and getting the panels organized and getting the T-shirts ready for selling them today,” said McPherson. 

Throughout ToBeGLAD Day, three different panels were presented during a-block, b-block, and e-block. 

Held during a-block, the first panel showcased the queer identities of four faculty members and six students from North. McPherson moderated the panel, asking the panelists numerous questions regarding their stories and experiences. 

“We had 10 panelists that answered a variety of questions about their identity, how they came to discover their identity, how their identity has evolved, and how it’s interacted with other pieces of their identity,” said McPherson. 

During b-block, a zoom meeting was held with Erin Reed, a trans activist and political journalist, speaking on the rise of anti-trans legislation in America. According to McPherson, a link was sent out to classes that signed up for the panel. 

“Erin Reed presented about different legislation that they’ve seen in the last two years that have affected LGBTQIA+ youth and adults in a variety of states, including Florida, Texas, Missouri, Minnesota, and California,” said McPherson. 

During g-block, the GSA ran a table outside the cafeteria, selling T-shirts and handing out pins for students entering and leaving lunch, according to McPherson. 

During e-block, freshman Sai Cao and McPherson gave a presentation on queer history in different time periods. 

“It’s about queer people throughout history. Going back 1000s of years to our thesis that queer is not a very modern or Western thing. It’s been happening for 1000s of years across the whole world,” said McPherson. 

The following day, students participated in a Day of Silence to support queer people in other parts of the country and the world who are struggling to express their identity. The day aimed “to show in a more visible way how much is lost when queer identities are silent,” McPherson added. 

The Day of Silence was created as a non-violence project aiming to spread awareness for bullying of queer students within schools. Students who wished to participate were silent throughout the day in support of the queer community, according to GLSEN. 

The GSA club emphasized the importance of participation in the Day of Silence from queer students and non-queer allies.

“It’s for everyone, not just queer people, to show solidarity,” said sophomore Wren Dunkailo-Minehart.

According to biology teacher Melanie Pennison, a club advisor, events like these are mostly created by students. 

“Our officers or our members will come up with the idea and we will reach out to those people,” said Pennison. 

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Shonali Sen
Shonali Sen, News Editor
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