Students pledge to be allies

Ally Day is a day dedicated for students to stand up with members of the LGBT community to help them fight off harassment and name calling. The goal of the event is to think about how people can be an ally to those who need it.

The event kicked off last week on October 11, which is National Coming Out Day. This day celebrates people disclosing their sexual orientation and gender identity.

On our campus the celebration started with the Gay Straight Alliance, who set up a long poster during nutrition and lunch for students to sign and show their acceptance of the LGBT community.

With the entire GSA present and the help of Red Tide, many students arrived with the promise of candy and the promise of support for their fellow LGBT students.

People who signed the poster received rainbow treats such as Laffy Taffy, Starburst, Skittles, and they received a rainbow heart sticker in exchange for their signature.

The signing of the poster continued until the end of lunch the same day, but the poster was put in the hallway for the remainder of the week and the following week.

The one thing GSA wants their fellow students to have on their minds is to be aware and let LGBT students know that they have a presence on this campus.

Angela Yang, co-president of the GSA club, explained the powerful purpose of this poster.

“People in the community will see all these people’s support and they might not even know them but feel supported in this school,” she said.

The poster though, didn’t just represent Ally Day. It also represented the expression of one’s sexuality, as the poster is shared between members of the LGBT community and allies of these members.

Alison King, co-president of the GSA, said, “They can just put in ‘I’m bi,’ so you’ll see the names of [people saying] ‘I support this’ and then ‘I’m bi,’ so you can see the unity of the two groups, the allies, and then the members of the community.”

Yet with a day dedicated to LGBT at our school and their presence now being much bigger at PVHS and looking to expand, GSA is not going to stop there.

Instead they will inform students that being an ally is one of the best possible decisions one can make in an LGBT teen’s life.

To shed some more light on what this means, King said, “We just want our allies to know what we have to go through everyday and know that their support means so much to us, instead of degrading us or bullying us. It really just helps us be more confident about who we are as people, if our allies recognize who we are as people.”

Patty Castellanos, who is vice president of the GSA and is a member of the LGBT community, gave some words of advice on how to be a better ally.

“I think we are going to have to now on learn how to be a better ally,” she said.

“I think [people need] to listen and not judge people and to also not be a bystander, like when you hear someone say that’s ‘so gay’ or any derogatory term, just tell them that’s not ok to say.”

Castellanos later elaborated on the impact Ally Day has on the LGBT community.

“Our main message is for them to know everyone here is here for them and everyone here wants to support them and love them, as much as they are willing to accept,” she said.

She then spoke about how Ally Day impacted herself as LGBT.

“This day is very close [to me] because my whole coming out story wasn’t just one day where I came out to everyone. I was just sort of hinting towards it and I think that’s great if you really don’t want to make a big deal about it, in a chill way,” Castellanos said.

Ally Day has created a stronger presence for GSA on the PVHS campus that will only grow and show their fellow students that we are all the same and should not be labeled based on who we love.