Pride Month Kicks Off With Student Panel and Bridge Celebration

Windward Communications
June 1 marks the beginning of Pride Month. As a way of recognizing and celebrating this important month, the School held a number of student-centric events leading up to June. 

On May 24, Upper School students attended Windward's first Pride Panel, organized by the LGBTQIA+ Affinity Group and Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) Club.

Spearheaded by Sophomores JJ Dawley and Reese Zolkin, and moderated by JJ and Junior Abe Ezra, the panel discussion featured outside adults from the LGBTQIA+ community as they explored questions designed to share the meaning of pride, what it means to be an ally, and provide resources for students in need of support.

"Most of us crave normalcy and the mundane," said panelist Garrett Engle when asked what he wants people to know about the LGBTQIA+ community. "We just want to exist without having to explain our existence because nobody else has to."

Panelist Lennon Torres discussed the fleeting opportunity students have to use their voices with little consequence and encouraged students to fight for what they believe in. 

"You have so much power that you in a way are invincible with advocacy and speaking out; people listen to students," said Lennon. "Use your voice; you can't get fired. You're a student - you deserve to use your voice to present your opinions. Keep doing that. Speak up!"

Thank you to panelists Garrett, Lennon, Clay Williams, and Quentin Lee for lending their time, insight, and support! 

On the last day of May, the School celebrated the beginning of Pride Month with a special kickoff celebration. Students, faculty, and staff took to the Bridge, blowing bubbles, creating bead art, and showing their allyship by way of temporary tattoos, flags, stickers, and a rainbow photobooth. Participants were also treated to special performances from Windward’s music students. 

Pride Month grew out of the Stonewall Riots of 1969, which marked a turning point in a fight for recognition and liberation of LGBTQIA+ communities. Today, we’re proud to honor not only the history of LGBTQIA+ rights, but the celebration of queer culture.