Story by Ta’Nya Davis, Photo by Laura Santos

 

As the night slowly approaches, colorful lights light the way for the annual pride parade. This year Dutch Fork High pairs with the Irmo and Spring Hill High School to create the District Five GSA and walk in the pride parade.

“I feel like it’s great for the community walking around representing us and even for the people who can’t be here,” sophomore Jordan Miller said.

Many students show up to support their individual groups, like Spring Hill High School freshman Dylan Henrard, junior Phoenix Quinn, and Dutch Fork High School senior Angela Fanning.

“[I think straight people should join GSA] because you get informed about something you are not apart [of] and because you are straight also educated on things you don’t know about because their is a world you are not apart not it,” Angela said. “It’s good to know and know how people or others not like you live and how they think about things.”

President and founder of GSA Dani Valenti expresses that GSA was created for two main reasons, to provide information about gender and sexuality identity and a safe place for members to speak their opinions.

“I got bullied in middle school which was really horrible. [I] felt really alone. I didn’t have an outlet for information or community,” Dani said. “so when I came to Dutch Fork I wanted to free the place of, so people can have a community.”

The GSA march is willing to change the ways of close minded people, and to let them know that the LGBT+ community isn’t leaving.

“Well I disagree with [close minded people], I think everyone should try to be more open minded,” Phoenix said. “definitely think they should try and their [LGBT+] point of view but definitely know that everyone is not going to be open for change.”

Dylan thinks people should be more aware of the LGBT+ community.

“I mean it exists so they can’t hide from it, so to be aware of it, get people to at least get it face to face not hide,” Dylan said.

During the parade LGBT+ community wanted to support everyone of every gender and sexuality and have fun while doing so according to Phoenix.

“[I joined] because they are so open, so nice and they are like a family, every single one of them are nice and wonderful family, wonderful community” Angela said. “[they] got their own parade, not only am I black I get to be in the pride parade too. I’m so happy it’s going to be great going to be colorful going to be an awesome night this year.”

Angela, Jordan, Dylan, Phoenix, Dani and some other students gladly supported themselves and others during the pride parade.

“Even if you are not gay it’s an amazing way to show you have support the community and that you stand for with your lgbt friends, brothers, sisters, and family,” Dani said, “also for the parents who support their child is a nice thing.”

Digital integration specialist Susan Aplin was a parent who supported one of her daughters in the participation in the pride parade.

“I think it is a great club [GSA], they have really grown,” Aplin said, “they talk about specific issues and current events going on related to the LGBT+ community and also provide a good school community for students who are LGBT+ or just wanting to be supported of the student.”