LGBTQ Alliance

by Samantha Dandridge

Everyday when fourth period ends, dozens of kids rush down the stairs toward the front doors, calling out to their friends to meet them at Francesco’s Pizza or Empire Szechuan, and most days I am part of this mad rush. However, Tuesdays have always been different. Tuesdays during lunch, history teacher Mr. Michael Roper hosts a different guest every week to talk about sexuality, identity, raising awareness, and anything that is on our minds. This weekly meeting is called the LGBTQ Alliance, and when I started attending York sophomore year, I immediately was drawn to the club.
All guests share their coming out story and/or their life story, and we end with an open Q and A session that leads to productive and deep discussions. We have welcomed people who battle the struggles of the LGBTQ community in education, in the corporate world, and in the arts. Guests have discussed the challenges facing people of color in the LGBTQ community, and stories about coming out not only as gay, but as HIV positive. Mr. Gary Schwartz, one of York's art teachers and an active member of the club, confidently states, “LGBTQ Alliance is the best kind of support group for not only the LGBTQ community and those who identify as such, but for anyone who feels people don’t understand them.”
I advise all students to venture out and explore clubs, sports, and everything York has to offer. If it were not for the LGBTQ alliance, I would not have formed the relationships I now have with teachers and students, which have a very special place in my heart. I am forever thankful for that.