By Linda Cheung
During the month of June, GSA club members put in tremendous efforts for the celebration of LGBTQ Pride month.
In preparation for Pride month, the GSA club has been decorating the school. For instance, various pictures were hung up across the building and a mural was constructed. Additionally, GSA club officers spent several afternoons planning the layout of the decorations.
Sources from Nicholas Washington and Ms. Abbe Katz
Nicholas Washington, Ms. Katz, Vanessa Sim and Giancarlo Montoya take photos to commemorate the efforts they have put into the decorations around the school; Various messages are posted across the building to depict the importance of Pride month.
“We met to decide what we wanted to put all over the building. We discussed the important places to put the decorations, and we created a rainbow handprint mural,” GSA club adviser Ms. Katz said.
Displaying pride decorations across the school building exhibits the importance of Pride month in the New Hyde Park community. Thoughts among students and faculty reflect the importance of the representation they feel during Pride month.
“Pride month means inclusion,” Ms. Katz said. “It tells all the students that no matter who you are, you are important. For me, pride means being happy with yourself and emphasizing pride shows all students that they should be proud of who they are and who they are going to become. It is so important for LGBTQ youth because a lot of times they feel lost. They feel like they are not noticed for who they really are; that even though they may be the center of attention for their personality, their academic skills, their artistic ability, they are still not recognized for who they really are.”
“It’s not just representation but the acknowledgement of our existence,” sophomore Safaa Mufti said.
Sources from Ms. Abbe Katz
Inclusion is an extremely important message to deliver to the NHP community during Pride month.
Students also mentioned the need for recognition of the LGBTQ community. Many believe that acceptance of the queer community is vital to the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth. Therefore, advocates for queer youth believe that acknowledgement of this demographic at NHP protects the mental health of students as well.
“I think queer representation is especially important, and I think being represented is actually keeping kids alive, making kids seen, heard and understood to feel safe at school,” sophomore Guranaad Kaur said.
In anticipation of next year’s Pride month celebration, the New Hyde Park community has new ideas for a broadened awareness of LGBTQ.
“Next year, the GSA will fundraise more so that we will have more money to host more events for Pride month,” Ms. Katz said. “Pride should be represented in every hall, by every classroom, in every area of the building, and that is my goal. My goal is for any student, whether a member of the GSA or not, to be able to turn around and say, ‘Wow, I’m accepted everywhere.’ I believe that many know that, but I would like it to be even more apparent in every which way.”
“I think it would be really cool if the school made announcements kind of highlighting LGBTQ historical figures,” sophomore Guranaad Kaur said.
Artwork by Shadia Zayer
Highlighting the importance of Pride month is a major goal for the GSA club.
Overall, Pride month has a personalized meaning to individuals in the queer community. The GSA club participated in several activities to display the importance of LGBTQ representation across the school building. Members of the school hope that the LGBTQ community is continuously represented.