The first order of business for QSA this year is putting together a workshop for SLVHS teachers and staff about trans students. The term trans is an umbrella term for all people who identify as gender non-conforming, such as transgender, transexual, genderqueer, agender, genderfluid, and so-on. This workshop will help inform teachers and staff about trans terms and trans laws and legislation, as well as providing guidance for how to help create a safe, happy, and accepting environment for trans students in and out of the classroom. The workshop will aim to inform staff about this new, revolutionary legislation and how we can start to enforce it here at SLVHS. The workshop is being held during the November staff meeting, and the students of QSA are excited about it. “It will be great to inform the teachers and staff about trans students; I think it’s important that everyone is on board, and most of the staff seems supportive of it,” says active member of QSA, Sophie Widman. QSA President MollyJean Judd says, “I believe that we have a wonderful and accepting staff; however, we are doing this workshop to ensure that our staff can not only accept those students, but help them grow and be who they are without fear.” Hopefully, teachers will find this workshop helpful for working with trans students, and will also inspire the students to treat their peers with the same respect. MollyJean feels that “Teachers are our role models. If they are using the name and pronoun that a student asks for, chances are other students will follow and use the same name and pronoun.”
Also, on September 28th, Ms. Salido and four students from QSA got to attend Baymec, a political dinner and fundraiser held in San Jose for several bay area counties. Baymec is an annual conference that helps to fundraise for queer issues and projects. California’s 29th district Assemblymember, Mark Stone, funded a table for local teenagers to attend the conference. The students, MollyJean Judd, Sophie Widman, Rebecca Hargraves, and Jennifer Paolini, are all in agreement that attending Baymec was “an incredible opportunity.” Ms. Salido and the students got to meet several politicians, such as Mark Stone, and leaders of the queer organization that holds Baymec, James Gonzales. They heard inspiring speeches given by leaders of their communities and even witnessed two gay couples get married. “Baymec was really fantastic,” says Rebecca, “It was amazing to have the opportunity to mingle with politicians and learn more about queer issues in the Bay Area and California.” Ms. Salido and the students were thrilled to attend the Baymec dinner; it was an incredible opportunity to network and learn about the current issues and resolutions for the queer community.
QSA helps promote equality for queer youth, and it is always fun and enlightening. If anyone is interested in joining the school’s QSA, meetings are held Wednesday at lunch in room G6.
-By Jennifer Paolini