Westminster’s Pride Week Celebration

“One of our recent discussion topics was how to be a good ally, and most meetings are centralized around giving advice to those who are a part of the club,” said sophomore Spectrum member Sophie Oberle.

Although both Spectrum and United provide support and advice to LGBT+ members, Spectrum’s more outward presence is demonstrated through their months of hard work in preparation for the long-awaited Pride Week. Spectrum members and advisors played a major role in every aspect of celebrating Pride Week at Westminster, from the Pride flags and stickers spread all across campus to the delicious rainbow cupcakes at lunch that Thursday. 

“The purpose of Pride Week is to show how Westminster is different than it used to be because it used to not be very accepting,” said Oberle. “Now it’s sort of advertising that it’s okay, and nobody will come after you.” 

Westminster, with its efforts in incorporating acceptance and tolerance in day-to-day school life, is but one example of schools across the nation striving to be a safe space for members of the LGBT+ community.

 “The goal of our 2019 Pride celebration was to familiarize the student body as a whole with what it means to be LGBTQ,” says Upper School history teacher Laura Drewicz-Ewing, who served as one of the many advisors of Pride week alongside Stewart. 

“The Pride celebration this year is approached from two different angles,” said Stewart. “One is it’s a celebration, in which we are helping students to find all of the parts of their identity that make them their authentic selves, with important pieces like sexual orientation, gender identity, and discretion. The Pride celebration is meant to help everyone going through their own journey, allowing them to feel supported, included, and celebrated just the way we would for any other students.” 

However, Pride week is not only a celebration but also an important opportunity to spread awareness of issues surrounding the LGBT+ community that remain prevalent today. 

“Pride Week is celebrated to call attention to social justice and to convey today, in 2019, that there are still laws, policies, and attitudes about persons who are on the LGBT+ spectrum which are not fair and not right,” said Stewart, “And so, as a school like Westminster that practices Christian ethics, we felt it’s really important not only to celebrate our students and all their little identity parts but also to call attention to the fact that there is still a lot of work to be done in the world.” 

Students have enjoyed the week-long Pride celebration filled with rainbow stickers, flags, and cupcakes. 

“Surprisingly and happily from my end, it seems to have been smooth,” said Drewicz-Ewing. “It’s important for me to see and important for students who might still be questioning themselves as well. It’s been a real pleasant surprise and an exciting way for people all across campus to see what it means to really be an ally of the LGBT+ community.”

Westminster’s Pride Week ranged from a celebration of the school’s LGBT+ members to an opportunity to shed awareness on social justice issues in general society and served as an effort to promote inclusivity and awareness towards the LGBT+ community in and around Westminster. 

“Pride Week was important to have at school because it helped bring together the different groups of Westminster to support one another,” said sophomore Sarina Desai.