Students Support LGBTQ Community with Pride Week


Lion pride. Credit: Williston Instagram

The Williston community is dedicating a week to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community.

The event is called Pride Week, and runs from April 8 to April 14. For this period of time, Williston will be organizing events to celebrate and raise awareness about the LGBTQIA+ community.

For the last few years, Williston had “Day of Silence,” but in order to have a bigger impact, the celebration has turned into a full week of exciting events.

Events during Pride Week include Story Telling Night and Gameday. There is also a special video meeting with Al Gerhardstein, a civil rights attorney, who is mostly known for his contribution to marriage equality for same-sex couples. Gerhardstein also raised his voice for racial issues, police misconduct, and freedom of reproduction.

One of the events happening is a follow up from the past couple of years: Day Of Silence. Every year, the Williston community comes together in silent solidarity as a way to protest against the unfairness and hardships the LGBT+ community has to go through.

Along with the Day of Silence is the Ally Pledge Signing. This is where students show their contribution by signing their names and taking a card or stickers as a proof that they will  stand up next time they see situations like bullying, name-calling, and harassment.

All of these thoughtful events were created by Glede Wang ’19, the leader of the GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Club. She believes in the power, immediate and lasting, of having a whole week of Pride events.

“I always wanted to make GSA more active in our school,” said Glede. “I feel like it is such an important part of the diversity idea and I really wish this club can grow bigger and include more people. Now that I am in senior spring, I want to dedicate myself to leave a mark in Williston’s history by starting a new but meaningful event.”

In order for students to raise their awareness of the LGBT+ community, there is a Student Panel, where students can share their stories and experiences as well as ask questions about any LGBT-related issues.

Glede believes that this is an opportunity for students to engage and explore more about the LGBT+ community and find a way to support.

“I think the easiest way is to ask us question,” Glede said, adding that there are “no stupid questions.” Glede said the best way to support LGBT+ community is to “do whatever you can to empower your friends and accept their identities, with whatever means you feel most comfortable with, ranging from smiling to them to participating in a Pride Parade.”

Through Pride Week events, Glede hopes to impact the Williston community to ensure it stays an understanding and tolerant place for everyone.

“I hope that by doing a whole week of different events, Williston can grow more inclusive and understanding about the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Glede. “I hope that maybe some will be touched by something happened this week and be inspired to stand up against bullying next time and bring change to even one person’s life.”