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Inaugural PRIDE Week Celebrated in Upper School

Germantown Academy celebrated its inaugural Upper School PRIDE Week October 12-15. Rachel Lintgen '90, Upper School Dean of Students, and Michael Ferrier, Upper School English teacher and Co-Upper School Diversity and Community Life Coordinator, brought the Upper School community together to celebrate a week of PRIDE for students, faculty, and staff that identify as LGBTQ+ as well as their allies.

“The goal for Pride Week was to involve as much of the GA community as possible in a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community and pride, and to educate them about the community and have discussions about how to be a good ally,” said SAGA (The Sexuality and Gender Alliance) student leaders Amelia Reaume ’23 and Ruby Moyer ’23. “Many people helped make this week possible, including Ms. Lintgen, Ms. Jennings. SAGA Advisors Mr. Ferrier, Ms. Burnett, and Ms. Lloyd helped everything run smoothly. Ms. Ritz and Ms. Killo coordinated the art gallery, the artists contributed their incredible pieces, and Mr. Masters, Mr. Moffit, and performers did the whole Pop Assembly. Ms. Fraser made displays in the library highlighting LGBTQ+ books, the Parent’s Committee provided snacks for the party, and the whole Upper School showed up for the Pop Assembly and party.”

The week kicked off with Art Across the Academy’s break party to celebrate the opening of PROUD: The Power of Art to Challenge & Celebrate History & Social Change, a new exhibit on display in the Arts Center Gallery. The opening featured food, live music, and student, faculty, and professional artists’ work.

“We are thrilled to celebrate PRIDE with this exciting exhibit of artwork that expresses authentic and diverse viewpoints,” said Sara Krupnick-Ritz, who is the Co-Director of Art Across the Academy along with Jess Killo. “We are excited that this is an inclusive exhibit with representation of individuals of a multitude of ages, points of view and experiences. There is even a participatory piece that changes daily, and we are marveling at it as it unfolds and reveals the love and depth present in our GA community.”

On Thursday, SAGA hosted a meeting on LGBTQ+ allyship in the library that was open to all Upper School students.

“We hope that Upper School students were made aware of the discrimination LGBTQ+ students face, and how to effectively recognize and fight that discrimination,” said Moyer and Reaume. “We hope that they understand why allyship is so vital to members of the LGBTQ+ community and how to best express that allyship. We also hope that students who are also members of the LGBTQ+ community know that they are loved, appreciated, and have a supportive community within GA.”

At the Upper School Pop Assembly, students sang, danced, and DJ’d pieces that highlighted the theme “PROUD.” The songs and music were delivered by talented students, with Lizzie DiSandro ’23 singing Beautiful by Christine Aguilera starting off the show and concluding with Madi Quinter ’24 singing Rise Up by Andra Day. Special thanks go to Charlie Masters, Performing Arts Chair, and Paul Moffitt, Director of Technical Theater, who brought the show together!

The week was filled with a rainbow of colors where students and faculty “Dressed Out Loud,” the stage for the assembly was drenched with color (not to mention fantastic use of a fog machine!) culminating in the SAGA Coming Out Day Party. The festivities were uplifting and Upper School students had a good time at the party creating crafts and having snacks, with the best surprise coming from the Jack and Jill ice cream truck!  A big thank you to all of the faculty, students, and parents who made PRIDE Week a huge success.

“We are really proud that people seemed to have fun at the party, and that that Friday as a whole was enjoyable,” said Reaume and Moyer. “We’re also so grateful that we received a lot of positive support from the faculty, and it truly meant a lot to us that members of the faculty showed their support and showed up for us during our discussion. Listening to the thoughts and feelings of the LGBTQ+ community is such an important part of being an ally, so it’s always meaningful when faculty members show up to our open discussion-based meetings.

While SAGA doesn’t have any big events coming up in the near future, it will be hosting the Day of Silence in the spring.

“Hopefully followed by the Week of Noise—a week dedicated to highlighting the contributions of LGBTQ+ people as well as to be vocal about our presence at GA and in the world,” said Moyer and Reaume. “There are also some national visibility days sprinkled throughout the year that we will host meetings about further down the road.”

Click on these links for photos of the events: