A new generation of LGBT+ and their allies are standing together and educating others in cities all around the U.S. Pride clubs in middle and high schools are becoming more and more common with each new school year, with the purpose of education and spreading love and acceptance, both in and out of the hallways. It's a rising phenomenon of youth who are activists, and more ready than ever to make change happen.
Weekly meetings have become gatherings of peace, and a safe space for high school students. "Pride provides a place of comfort or reassurance for people who maybe don't have access to that kind of support anywhere else in their lives," Says Corrin Rivera, a first-year member of the Pride Alliance club. The group of twenty or so members all range in age, backround, race, and personality, but one interest is common- having each other's backs. “Our dynamic in Pride could be considered close to family, and it's easy to form close relationships. Because of how close we end up, we feel comfortable enough to open up and seek help from each other,” Rivera adds. This kind of support system can often be few and far between, but it's united people and brought them closer together, especially with the recent political events in the United States, and all around the globe.
During the 2016-17 school year, Pride Alliance participated in many activities to help their cause during meetings, as well as around campus and in the community.
In April, they walked as Team GSA in the Annual Walk Against AIDs, which helps the local not-for-profit AFAN right in Las Vegas, Nevada. The organization provides many services to men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDs, as well as testing and education. The members of Pride Alliance joined the National Day Of Silence for bullied LGBT+ youth, which was started by GLSEN. Along with Pride members, a large number of students not in the club were silent during the school day as well. The event was successful and helped raise awareness in a prominent way.
A lot more is in store for the coming years, and Pride Alliance has many plans and goals they wish to accomplish. Next year, they hope for many new members, to learn more about the history of the LGBT+ community, to take part in local activities like volunteer work, and to continue helping others, both in their school and the surrounding areas. The future is bright for these teenage activists, and one thing's for sure; we're in good hands.