Ridgeview’s New Group: Gay/Straight Alliance

Christina Ho King, Staff Writer

In high schools, many students of the LGBTQ are experiencing hate and harsh judgement for their sexual orientation or gender identity. A school of the Kern High School district had students of the LGBTQ experiencing hate and unconformity in an incident that recently occurred. In response, all schools in the district along with the Kern High School district office formed a group known as the Gay/Straight Alliance to take a stand in keeping the schools and students safe from judgement.
The incident that took place at a school in the district started when a group of students came to school wearing MAGA hats and throwing hate towards students of the LGBTQ, which led to an outbreak of conflicts and arguments. This conflict brought attention to many schools of the district, and led them to create a group to form a free-judgement for students to feel safe. A Choir teacher at Ridgeview High, Elizabeth Provencio, is the GSA group advisor. She states that the group is being used as a safe place for people who experience difficulties in the community with being accepted for who they are and their sexuality. “What the GSA club here on campus is is mostly just a safe place for literally anybody to just come hang out and be around people who are friendly and helpful, and would not judge them for their sexual orientation or their beliefs”, said Provencio. The GSA club meets after school, or during fourth and fifth lunch period to play games, hang out, and create a bond and a unity between the students that share different sexual identities or orientations. Provencio has always been a supporter of the LGBTQ group because to her, they are still humans no matter what. “In my eyes, people are people, and you should only judge people for their character, not from something they are born with, or something they believe, or something they decided”, she added. She adds that having the school district makes a really big impact for the group, “The more district support we get helps legitimize the organization”.
Ridgeview Principal, Steve Holmes, is the adult supervisor of the GSA group, and is also a big supporter for students of the LGBTQ. He states that the purpose of the the GSA is to allow people of different sexual orientations or identities to be and feel welcomed, and to create a safe environment for learning students. “Our job is to support every student that walks through the door regardless of gender identity, or sexual orientation…we need to promote the best learning environment for every student regardless of where they come from and what they believe”, added Holdens. He would like to let students know that his door is always open in need of any support and free of judgement.
In addition, students have been chosen from Ridgeview that are a huge part of the GSA group involving going to meetings that include the school district, and representing our school. Marissa Almager is a current sophomore and is the president of the GSA group here at Ridgeview. In response to the story of the incident, she and the GSA group decides to drop the conflict and start focusing on the club itself to help fix the issue. “For our group we decided, hey we don’t want problems here, it’s just an alliance, we are not here to fight or struggle with anyone”. Almager enjoys being part of a group and a family where they give each other guidance, love, and accept one another for who they are. “I love my group. They are like a second family to me. We are so accepting of each other, it’s just peaceful vibes”. She advises students of the LGBTQ to come out when they are ready and to know that they are accepted no matter their identity or sexual orientation. “Just know that there is a community for you, you know. You will be accepted, you will be loved and you don’t have to stress or worry because we have everything that can help you”.
Danielle Smith, a senior, is another student that is part of the GSA group along with going to meetings involving the school district. She states that the alliance is very important for many students who experience a lot with accepting their identity and sexuality. “I think the alliance is very important to remind students’ that they are not alone and it helps everyone, heterosexual or homosexual, to come together as one”, Smith adds. To those of you who experience hate and judgement, she will like you to believe that, “you’re valid and human just like everyone else and you do not ever deserve the hate society gives you”.
No matter how a person identifies themselves, relating to their gender or sexuality, they should be accepted as human beings and nothing less of that. It is time that we as people born in the same human race, accept one another no matter how different we are. If you are experiencing any hate or judgement relating to your gender identity or sexual orientation, and need support, call the LGBTQ support hotline 888-843-4564.