Hello fellow students of Berkeley High School (BHS)! We are QPOC, the newly made Queer People of Color Club, and this week we are taking over the GSA column. We are a group of queer students of color who want to create a safe space for other queer people of color (QPoC) to share their experiences.
Our goal is to create a space in which QPoC can feel comfortable with their identities, form a tight community, and raise awareness to the issues that they face. Do not be mistaken though, our goal is not to create divisions within any communities, as we understand the importance of recognizing the things that unite us, rather than separate us.
However, we, as people of color, and as queer people, understand the importance of having a dedicated space to discuss the intersection of these two parts of our identities. We understand firsthand how hard it can be to be an out QPoC in today’s social climate.
By starting this club, we hope to foster a sense of safety and solidarity for the QPoC students of BHS. During meetings, we will discuss current events in and outside of the LGBTQ+ community and have community building days. We want to make sure that this space is safe so that we are able to discuss issues that may happen on a personal level as well as how to deal with them. We plan on having artsy fundraisers that will help people explore their creative sides, and to support club activities and our community.
Joining QPOC is also a great way to make new friends, which can be a difficult world to navigate in the vast student body of BHS. We also plan to collaborate with the Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) and Alliance of Gender Expansive Students (AGES) to create a stronger community for all queer people here at BHS.
Meetings will be held in Ms. Zazaboi’s room, which is room C310, during lunch on Thursdays. Feel free to drop by to attend a meeting, or just to say hello!
Our club has some amazing people leading it. First up to bat is our treasurer, Walter Acevedo. They are a sophomore in Academic Choice (AC) who uses he/they pronouns. Walter is also a very talented musician and is constantly spreading creativity and love to everyone around them. Next up is our lovely secretary, Miumi Shipon. Miumi uses she/her pronouns, is also a sophomore in AC, and is a beautiful dancer at Berkeley Ballet Theatre. QPOC’s social media coordinator is Jai Hart, a senior in AC. Jai uses they/them pronouns and likes gaudy button-down shirts and baking.
The vice-president of QPOC is Jett Lai Costa. Jett’s a spunky little junior in AHA who uses she/they pronouns. They love being a gremlin and dyeing their hair eye-catching colors. Last but not least is our QPOC president, Ana Jacob. Ana is also a junior in AHA and uses she/her pronouns. She loves creating art, making dangly earrings, and also enjoys wearing oversized turtlenecks.
We know how hard it can be out in the world, and we want you to know that even if you feel lonely, you are never truly alone. Being a QPoC can be very exhausting, and our club is just the thing to lift your spirits. We are always looking for people to join our family, and we would love to see you at our next meeting.