By Aidan Howe
Purple Post Staff Writer
Photos courtesy of Purple Post Photographer Nicole Rabe
Classical’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance has been around for a while, being founded over fifteen years ago. However, the club (currently led by Mr. Sundaresh and Mr. Seminara) remains fresh and active, as demonstrated by the meeting I sat on. The students file in, talking and laughing, about ten of them. After a brief icebreaker game, led by Mr. Sundaresh, the meeting begins. The students begin to discuss the upcoming National Trans Day of Remembrance on November 20, and what they can do to spread awareness. Logistics are discussed, such as an educational hallway in Classical filled with candles and the names of those lost to anti-trans violence. Listening in, I am struck by how much of a focus there is on student leadership. Mr. Sundaresh gently prods and asks questions in order to steer the conversation, but for the most part sits back and lets the students talk. This is not an accident. The entire point is that students will lead.
The basic goal of the GSA is to support LGBTQ people and create equal rights and tolerance for them. This is done through campaigning for laws and changes, attending events, and various other strategies. The club is fairly small, but works hard to make changes in the community.
Mr. Sundaresh has been heading the club since 2005, after the previous teacher left. His interest in leading activist efforts came from his own being trans, as he wished to help others like him. During his time as an organizer, the club has grown and has become more and more active in the community, attending events, and in some cases, even organizing them.
I am given an insight into their process while listening. The conversation that began with the Day of Remembrance soon segues into more general subjects: the mistreatment of trans people in America, perception of the LGBTQ community at Classical, the nature of intolerance, and many other topics. Although the tone is fairly informal, at times the conversation becomes deadly serious. This is not a joke. Intolerance and bigotry must be resisted. The members know that the fight will not be over any time soon, and they will continue to campaign for equal rights for all.