Updated: Aug 18
Aleksandra Mondrzik '23
If you are a hybrid student, you may have noticed the hallways looking a bit more colorful this month. In the United States, the month of June has been officially recognized as Pride month since June 2nd, 2000.
Pride month is not simply acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ+ people, but celebrating them. Decorations and Pride parades are prominent in the month of June to celebrate the overcoming of many obstacles of persecution and to celebrate people for who they are.
Artwork provided by Aleksandra Mondrzik
There are multiple ways to celebrate Pride. Despite there being a limited number of people in the Lawrence High School building this year, the decorations around the school celebrating Pride month have been set up by Students for Social Activism (SSA).
SSA is a relatively new club to LHS for students to discuss and learn about the world outside of a classroom environment. I recently had a conversation with a few of the members of the growing club (Nate Kunkel ‘24 and Kornelia Gondek ‘23) about Pride month.
Q: What are your pronouns? Why is it important to ask?
Nate: “My pronouns are he/him and I think it is greatly important to ask someone’s pronouns because it can affirm that you care for said person and that you listen to them, and it can be greatly appreciated because it can help them feel safer near you”
Kornelia: “My pronouns are they/them. I think asking a person for their pronouns helps you to make the person more comfortable and welcome to be themselves. I personally like it whenever someone asks me my pronouns because I do present more femine and people just automatically assume I'm a girl.”
Q: What do you think the school should do to be more inclusive of students part of the LGBTQ+ community?
Nate: “This district has already taken decent strides but there is still a lot to be done at this point.”
Kornelia: “I think the high school should work on a way to feel more inclusive and actually teach kids about gender and sexuality in health classes, just to spread awareness and make people more knowledgeable about the community. I also think making the gender neutral bathroom more accessible would be amazing, and opening more gender neutral bathrooms around the school would help students feel welcomed.”
Q: What is pride month to you? How do you celebrate? Why is it important?
Nate: “Pride month to me is a month were LGBTQ+ people can celebrate more freely compared to other months. It is also a time for reflection and is usually a month were a lot of closeted people come out. It also helps to acknowledge some of the past and present LGBTQ+ people that had a great influence on the society and community today.”
Q: Who is your favorite queer person/icon (dead or alive) and why?
Kornelia: “I think my favorite queer icon would have to be Trixie Mattel. Trixie is a drag queen who I have been watching since season 7 of RuPaul's Drag Race, as well as her best friend Katya. I just love the energy and how influential she is in the community as well as how hilarious she is on her show.”
To stay up to date with SSA, follow their instagram @ssa_lhs! To get in touch with the SSA club, contact the club advisors Ms. Clarke and Mr. Carney as well as founder/president Angeni Shahi.
Try to remember that June is not only the last month of school, but also Pride Month. Take some time to read about the different variety of pride flags and historical/modern figures displayed in the hallways. Happy Pride Month!