Bowditch Pride Club

Bowditch+Pride+Club

Freddie Wolfe, Journalist/Editor

“Pride Club”. Courtesy of Patch. 

 Bowditch Middle School is home to many clubs, such as Chess Club, Space Club, Speech and Spar Club, Alternative Culture Club, and many more! Bowditch’s Pride Club is a student-led club that meets during lunch on Fridays. Mr. Perryman, the seventh-grade counselor, helps us run the club. 

 What is a pride club?

 A pride club also referred to as a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance/Gender-Sexuality Alliance) or QSA (Queer-Straight Alliance) is a group formed by a community. It is common to find pride clubs in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. Pride clubs are made for the LGBTQIA+ (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender Queer Intersex Asexual Plus) community. The LGBTQIA+ community is composed of people who do not identify as straight and/or cisgender. Pride clubs are a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQIA+ people. Even if you are not LGBTQIA+, you can still join and participate in these clubs as an ally. 

 Why do we need pride clubs?

 Pride clubs help the LGBTQIA+ community feel accepted and valued in their other communities. The people in this community are sometimes discriminated against by their neighbors, co-workers, and classmates. So making a pride club for your neighborhood, workspace, or school shows that some people do care about the LGBTQIA+ community and its members. It also provides a harassment-free environment for people who may experience harassment outside of Pride Club.  

 Why join Pride Club?

 Bowditch’s Pride Club isn’t just a place to discuss specific topics. It is also a safe place where people can feel comfortable and get to know each other, free from bullying and hatred. There are even times during Pride Club when we will discuss random things that aren’t related to the queer community. Pride Club is composed of so many different people, and it is a great place to hang out and relax. You don’t need to be LGBTQIA+ to join! Allies are always welcome! When the morning announcements say everyone is encouraged to attend, they mean it! Pride Club doesn’t have a lot of regular members, so we really do want to build our community.

“Bowditch Middle School San Mateo Foster City School District”. Courtesy of Bowditch Middle School PTSA Facebook.

What members want you to know:

 One member said that she joined the club because her friends had. This member enjoys Pride Club because she loves talking with people like her. She encourages you to join Pride Club because it is fun. 

 Sarah Givens, says that she joined Pride Club to meet people like her and that she enjoys meeting new people during Pride Club. Sarah encourages you to join if “you have pride or love pride” to be able to express yourself. “I feel it [Pride Club] helps students be their true selves.”

 Another member says that he joined because he gets to hang out with people “I care a lot about and enjoy being around.” Though he isn’t LGBTQIA+, he wants to protect the community. His favorite part about the club is that people can discuss whatever they want without being judged. He says you should join “not just to hang around LGBTQ+ members, but to also gain a sense of what it’s like to be around a community like theirs. Although it’s small, it’s a wonderful place for any ally or member of the LGBTQ+ community to gather and have a good time.”

 Maria Marques says that she helped form Pride Club because he “wanted to go to a place where I felt welcomed”. They love that everyone in Pride Club is friendly and that they respect people’s boundaries. He says that allies should join to “learn more about the community and to understand friends or family”. She wants LGBTQIA+ students to join to find other people who may have similar experiences. “Pride Club helps Bowditch be more open to different types of people.”

 I hope this article gives you a sense of what Pride Club is and why it is key to the Bowditch community. If you are interested, come to room 11 during lunch on Fridays. No matter how you identify or whether or not you are interested, we would love for you to join!

Sources:

Anonymus Pride Club members

Sarah Givens

Maria Marques

*Some interview responses have been altered to be more grammatically correct.