Club Hopes Film Fosters Tolerance

Vaughn Luthringer, Staff Writer

“High school communities in general don’t tend to be the most kind and accepting places,” said senior Maya Ramesh, who is part of the Sexuality and Gender Alliance Club. Nevertheless, SAGA is working to change this, one step at a time.

Currently, the club is hoping to promote tolerance by publishing a film that tells the story of various people coming out. “I just sort of had a vague idea that we could make some sort of a video promoting tolerance of LGBT people,” said senior Christina Ungermann, director of the video.

While the film is still in its planning stages, members of the club have a good sense of their vision for it. “[We’re] basically having people anonymously submit coming out stories, or stories they’ve had. Like, experiences they’ve had as being someone that’s part of the LGBTQ+ community at Campo,” said senior Anshula Srivastava.

Stories can be submitted anonymously via a Google Form that is currently linked on the club’s Instagram page. Club members will read selected stories in the film, providing a different face and voice than that of the author in order to ensure anonymity.

The club’s film idea was inspired by a video post on Buzzfeed, in which people shared their personal reasons for not coming out. “We’re trying to do something similar to that, but just instead of reasons why they can’t come out, [it will be] stories of people who have come out,” explained Srivastava. “It’s really just going to be a bunch of people in the club sitting down, reading other people’s stories.”

So far, they have received three coming out stories, but they’re hoping for a few more responses. “We do want to get, like, maybe one or two more before we start filming the video,” Srivastava said. “After that, everything else that we’re going to add is probably going to be something that we talk about when we discuss actually doing [filming] the video.” 

But the absence of people willing to share their stories isn’t an easy fix. “People who have [come out], maybe they just don’t want to share their stories or something, and that’s, you know, they don’t really want to talk about it, because not everyone’s coming out stories are, you know, good,” Srivastava said.

The club is hoping to share the video during a fundraiser, supporting acceptance from the community.

“My friend wants to do this coffeehouse thing, and we thought we would just combine that with our club to to have a fundraiser so we can show support,” said Srivastava. “All of the funds we raise are going to go towards the Trevor Project, or another LGBTQ+ charity.” The Trevor Project is a foundation that helps teens and young adults with their struggles as a part of the LGBTQ+ community.

The club is hoping for positive feedback. “We can’t really bet on that, completely, because there’s always people that are against things like this, but hopefully people will have an open mind and take the message,” said Ungermann.

“You don’t need them to accept you, they need to respect you,” said Ramesh. “We’re not asking for everyone to love gay people and all that kind of crazy thing,” she said. “We just want people to accept people for who they are.”