Woodside struggles to improve LGBTQ+ resources

A+girl+holds+up+a+pride+flag+at+the+Women%E2%80%99s+March+to+support+members+of+the+LGBTQ%2B+community.%0A

Chloe Postlewaite

A girl holds up a pride flag at the Women’s March to support members of the LGBTQ+ community.

Xamara Carrillo, Sports Editor

With LGBTQ+ pride month currently taking place, Woodside students who identify a part of the LGBTQ+ community have found that Woodside lacks resources to help students’ needs.

Woodside is full of diversity and the LGBTQ+ community is one of those diverse communities. Clarisa Robles, a sophomore at Woodside believes that the overall community is positive and inclusive at Woodside.

“The entire community is super sweet and super accepting,” Robles said. “There are some you could say toxic ones that are not accepting and they do have some internalized homophobia but I haven’t encountered them as much. I’ve really only had good experience.”

For Robles, being a member of the LGBTQ+ community has been overall positive, but junior and Alphabet Soup club president, Valdez has encountered some challenges.

“It’s kind of harsh since there’s a lot of homophobia at home and transphobia,” Valdez said. “On-campus it’s kind of sad to say that there is a lot of casual homophobia and casual transphobia all around even from people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community themselves.”

At Woodside, the LGBTQ+ community has encountered many challenges in expressing who they are.

“I’d say for me since I’m bisexual, it’s a little hard explaining the difference between pan and bisexual because they’re very similar but they are different; it’s very hard to explain,” Robles said. “I’m not drawn to everyone, I’m drawn to boys and girls and it’s also a little difficult in a family where I do have homophobic people. They judge me and say that I’m too young to know what I want my sexuality to be.”

Feeling accepted is a struggle LGBTQ+ students face. At our campus, some of those barriers exist because of old district rules.

“I know there is a specific drama rule where transgender women or men are not allowed in their respected dressing rooms to what they feel their gender is,” Robles said. “That’s just been a rule that’s been old and is district-wide and they can’t change it without there being a district meeting so that’s a little tough for them.”

Even though there are some present rules that haven’t changed, Woodside has striven for LGBTQ+ inclusivity by changing homecoming and prom courts.

“Woodside can definitely do better, I think the only that that they have that’s inclusive would be the way that they change the prom king and queen stuff so now it’s more royalty and nobility,” Valdez said.

As Woodside tries to develop and improve, there is a lack of resources on our campus for the LGBTQ+ community.

“Woodside tries; there aren’t necessarily much resources on campus,” Valdez said. “There’s an outlet, it’s supposed to be like anonymous, then there’s the alphabet soup club which is the gender and sexuality alliance club, and I think those are all the resources.”

Woodside offers two big resources on campus, an Outlet that takes place after school for students who want to seek support anonymously, and there’s also the Alphabet Soup club which is a club where students gather to speak and raise awareness for the LGBTQ+ community.

Promotional artwork showing a happy bowl including all members of the LGBTQIA+ community. (Lilypad Animations)

“I made the club because there aren’t really that many resources on campus for LGBTQ+ students,” Valdez said. “I thought it was important to have that for people especially because there’s a large group of us on campus that kind of need that support. Especially since not everyone’s families are accepting, so I thought it was important.”

Woodside offers resources but the only issue with the LGBTQ+ resources is the lack of awareness about them as most students aren’t aware of the few resources our campus offers.

“I’d say probably advertise them more because I don’t see them advertised to us as much,” Robles said. “I really don’t know about many of the LGBTQ+ clubs or any programs that are LGBTQ+ so I think that’s one of the things they could maybe improve on.”

Woodside offers a few resources but there are definitely areas for improvement.

“I would like to see some LGBTQ+ history being taught in classes and more things on gender identity and sexuality,” Valdez said. “Especially because the only times we are taught about it or talked about it is in Freshman Transition in that one time in those 20 minutes and [in] Sex Ed we spoke about it once.”

Conversations around the LGBTQ+ community exist on campus and have recently been implemented a bit more.

“They’ve done some notable things that are supportive like that one assembly with flags and the rainbow one was included,” sophomore Arielle Doernberg said.

Woodside’s spring rally was all about belonging with LGBTQ+ flags and different counties’ flags promoting inclusiveness. Although, Woodside can do much more to help raise more awareness.

“Maybe have posters like they do with racism like in the library,” Doernberg said. “It’s not something people should talk about once a year; to actually be allies, be educated, and listen to our voices.”

Small acts such as putting up posters or speaking about the LGBTQ+ community can definitely help individuals feel like they belong. An interesting idea that can help multiple people is starting a mentorship program.

“Woodside could start this mentorship thing with the LBGTQ+ community,” Valdez said. “Having people that are in a stable place and know who they are, offer mentorship to those who are in need of that support and those who aren’t really accepted at home.”

Many students have many ideas on what more support can look like on our campus but, the main point is that resources need to be mentioned more.

“We need more education on the LGBTQ+ community especially since we live in the Bay Area in San Francisco and we’re a very diverse group of people,” Valdez said.