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Image shows a photo of Baker College Prep students and their club advisor Mx. T in the school's LGBTQ+ club. Over the image, their is blue text on a yellow background that reads "Pride and Community at Baker College Prep's LGBTQ+ Club", the Noble Schools logo sits in the bottom right corner
Published On: June 30th, 2022Categories: 2022, Baker College Prep, Noble Staff, Noble Students, Pride Month

This is part of a series of blogs from Noble campus representatives to give a deeper look at campus life.

“Before, me acting the way I wanted to was difficult, and now, I am able to act the way I want to because of the club.”

This is what Oscar M., a rising junior at Baker College Prep, said when he was asked about his time in the LGBTQ+ Club at Baker. The club was started by Mx. Thornton, a history teacher at Baker. We sat down with Mx. T, Oscar, and another scholar to learn more about them and their club. Check it out:

Mx. T, Learning Specialist, History Teacher, and Club Leader

Image shows a portrait shot of Mx. T, a teacher at Baker College Prep and leader of the LGBTQ+ club, in front of a Pride flag

Q: When did you start this club? And to your knowledge did Baker ever have this club?  

A: Started it back in September 2021! I believe Baker did have an LGBTQ+ club before I came, but it wasn’t active for a couple years.

Q: Describe a typical club meeting. 

A: We often just sit and chat! We’ll chat about school, relationships, TV, just about anything. The club is often just a space to relax and unwind from the day, complain, share updates about crushes, without any judgment from others. We attempted to watch Pose as a group but quickly found out it’d be hard to get through the show meeting only twice a week! 

Q: Describe one of your favorite moments (or two) from the club.

A: One of my favorite moments was when we got to collaborate with the Hydroponics club at Baker. We got to enjoy some delicious food that our students grew themselves, it was such a fun meal together.

Baker students in the LGBTQ+ club and the Hydroponics club enjoy a homegrown meal together.

Q: What is the overall mission of the club?

A: The mission was simply to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ students. At the beginning of the year, we talked about whether we wanted to put on events to educate the rest of the school but they made it clear that they simply wanted the club to be a comfortable space. Either way, I’m happy to have been the leader of this club. I feel like I’ve gotten so close with many of the students that I otherwise wouldn’t have met since I didn’t teach them this year. 

Q: How would you describe your club’s members? 

A: Goofy! I would describe them as incredibly goofy and fun. They enjoy having a great time, being silly, and just expressing themselves. Club was always uplifting because of the energy the students would bring, even if school wasn’t going well. 

Q: Describe how this club helped support Baker’s mission.

A: I think this club speaks directly to Baker’s mission of empowerment. There is nothing more empowering than being comfortable with who you are and loving every bit of your identity. Our club centered, uplifted, and affirmed queer identities which is something that many Black and Brown queer youth do not see until they grow older.

Q: Tell me about yourself and why you decided to lead this club?

A: I’m non-binary and queer myself! I wanted to create the club that I wish I had at my high school. When I was in high school I felt very alone in my identity and had years of soul searching to truly understand who I was. I wanted to provide the space to explore identity, find comfort in the unknown, or ask questions to someone who may know a thing or two about being a queer adult.

Oscar M, Rising Junior

Oscar

Q: Describe the club.

A: Most days, we would just talk about our issues and relationship problems. It was really nice listening to people having the same problems as me. Many allies were part of the club. I never knew so many people were going through the same problems I was and that they were a part of the community. I was surprised. We also watched “Pose” on Hulu, I recommend it.

Q: What was one of your favorite moments from the club this year?

A: K was really funny. She was really open with her relationship problems, and we all would put in our own ideas of what we would do in her situation. She made me feel very welcome. When I joined, she made us introduce ourselves and pronouns and sexuality.

Q: Why did you join this club?

Chess club was canceled so I wanted to find another afterschool activity.

I am a part of the community and I wanted to meet people like me. I never knew we had a nonbinary teacher and that was pretty cool.

Q: What are your thoughts on the club leader, Mx. T?

A: I’ve never had a teacher as a part of the LGBTQ+ community. If I have a problem that other teachers may not have the solution to, it is nice that I could go to them.

Q: How do you think this club helps your overall school experience?

A: I feel like ever since I joined the club, I’ve been more social. It helped me open up. I make jokes and talk with my advisor more. Before, me acting the way I wanted to was difficult, and now I am able to act the way I want to because of the club.

Q: Do you have plans for Pride Month?

A: I want to go to the parade with this little girl I am babysitting, she’s 2. She’s always screaming “Gay Rights!” around the house. I taught it to her. I’d love for my siblings and my mom to go, too, if she doesn’t have to work. They’re very supportive of me. I haven’t told my dad, he’s in jail and I want to tell him in person. I went to the parade last year. I came out a week before the parade because I wanted to go to the parade.

Nicole J, Rising Sophomore

Q: Describe the club.

A: It was relaxing and I felt comfortable sharing things that I wouldn’t share with other people. There were people in there that I didn’t know and I felt really comfortable.

I met people there that are in my same grade and I had never talked to them before and now I can say hi to them in the hallway.

I can expect everybody sharing out and telling how their week’s been. We then float into a conversation, different kinds of stuff that is happening at school.

Q: What was one of your favorite moments from the club this year?

A: When we did the tea party and we ate ramen with Ms. Dorty’s Hydroponics club, and all the moments when we sat and talked and everyone shared out. We all felt comfortable around each other.

Q: Why did you join this club?

A: I joined because I hadn’t come out too long before it, and I never had a support system when it came to being a part of the community. I just wanted to be around people that were more like me.

Q: How do you think this club helps your overall school experience?

A: It helps me socially, when I meet people in the club and then I see them outside the club and I feel comfortable. I don’t think I would talk to many people as I did if I wasn’t in the club.

Q: What are your thoughts on the club leader, Mx. T?

A: They are really cool and they communicate with us as a peer, not as a teacher or supervisor. They made us feel comfortable being ourselves so we weren’t filtering ourselves because they are an adult.

Q: Do you have plans for Pride month?

A: I’m going to try to go to Pride Parade, if my mom lets me. I’m not really doing anything. I’m going to try to wear more rainbow colors, too.

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