SALAMANCA — History was made June 3 at Salamanca High School, where students and staff alike showed their support of the LGBT community.
In partnership with the Salamanca Student Activist Club, members of the school gathered outside the high school entrance to raise the Progress Pride Flag on campus, becoming one of the first public school districts in the state to do so.
“This is activism,” said Reece Redeye-Desposito, co-founder of the activist club. “All children matter and issues like this gives us [Student Activist Club] a reason to exist.”
Redeye-Desposito, the club’s co-president, is one of the original students behind this initiative. He worked to create a club just to promote acceptance within the Salamanca student body.
Ryeligh John, the club’s other co-president, echoed with gratitude towards the “ability to make my own (friends and classmates) feel accepted in a world where they are usually not.”
John, a key player in the day’s ceremony, was consumed with emotion ending with, “I am incredibly proud of everyone for getting to this point, we paved the way and set an amazing example for others.”
“This is something massive,” said Justin Hubbard, advisor to the Student Activist Club. “It shows the perseverance of students and the amount of hard work that has gone into it. They did not take no for an answer, and this action will save students’ lives.”
After a few short speeches, students, faculty, staff, administration and members of the community braved the rain to watch the raising of the Progress Pride Flag. John explained the meaning behind each color and shape on the flag.
Horizontal stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet represent the traditional LGBT flag, with additional arrow stripes of black and brown to represent the marginalized communities of color within the community, as well as the significant accomplishments people of color have pushed for within the community.
The last three arrow-shaped strips are white, pink and blue, representing the colors found on the transgender pride flag. The Progress Pride Flag works to represent each of those within its community, ensuring all feel welcomed.