Kenwood Club to Support the LGBTQ Community


Nygel Bross and Alaysha Alvez

Today, October 11, is National Coming Out day.  As Mr. Erdman shared on the LGBTQ Club page,  “Whether you’re out and loud and proud, or still taking steps in that process, every coming out experience is unique and should be navigated in the way most comfortable for you. Whether it’s for the first time ever, or the first time today, know that you are seen, you are valid, you have community , and you are loved. Be you and be proud.”

Mr. Erdman is Kenwood’s LGBTQ Club advisor and has been providing a safe and welcoming space for our LGBTQ community and their friends for four school years now. Prior to him Ms. Jannotti advised the club.

The LGBTQ community faces many challenges everyday. Feelings of constantly being judged and not accepted can be a tough battle to go through at a young age. LGBTQ stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer. In today’s generation, it may be accepted more than it had been in the 90s.
Kenwood High School teacher Ms.Villaran is a apart of the LGBTQ community. One of the main challenges she had faced was being accepted by her family and loved ones. She’s happy to see organizations in schools today that support LGBTQ students. ““When I was in High School, LGBT+ culture was not as prevalent in society and not accepted as much as it is in today’s world,” Villaran shares.

There was a time where being a LGBTQ member was a crime, and you could get a life penalty for loving who you love. Ms. Villaran waited until college to come out because she did not feel comfortable coming out while under her parents’ roof.

Chef G and students showing their support for the LGBTQ community

Unfortunately, sadly, many hate crimes to this day are still being committed against people loving someone of the same sex or being transgender. On June 13, 2016, a popular gay dance club in Orlando was the site of a mass shooting that left 49 dead and another 50 injured. This hate crime is being called the worst mass shooting in U.S. history (Tsukayama).

Just now in the year 2020 in June, the Supreme Court “further advanced the cause of LGBTQ rights Monday, ruling that a landmark civil rights law barring sex discrimination in the workplace applies to gay, lesbian and transgender workers” (Wolf). At the time of the ruling USA Today reported, “Twenty-eight states have little or no workplace protections for the LGBT community. About 4.5% of the U.S. population, or roughly 11 million people, identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer; 88% of them are employed.” (Wolf).

It has been a process over decades to even reach this point for the LGBTQ community. “The Supreme Court’s clarification that it’s unlawful to fire people because they’re LGBTQ is the result of decades of advocates fighting for our rights,” exclaimed James Esseks of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Zarda and Stephens. “The court has caught up to the majority of our country, which already knows that discriminating against LGBTQ people is both unfair and against the law” (Wolf).

Coming out as LGBTQ in the 90s or before was not normalized as much as it is in today’s generation, but there is still ground in equality to be made for the rights of the LGBTQ community.

Mr. Erdman hopes the LGBTQ Club offers students a sense of home in the Kenwood community. “I want the people to have a safe space where they are comfortable and where they have a safe space with someone to talk to and share their life experiences as a LGBTQ person so they don’t feel alone,” he shares. Students can join the LGBTQ schoology group (code 3J6S-DV75-2FRJP to join) or see Mr. Erdman in room 211 about upcoming meeting dates. Mr. Erdman adds, “Anyone can request to join our schoology group, and it’s set up so it’s very confidential and private to who is in it and who can see what. ”

Mr. Erdman and Mr. Grubka

Students that are a part of the club participate in various activities such watching films or movies regarding the LGBTQ community, listening to podcast addressing trans rights, as well as reading articles based on current events impacting the LGBTQ community.

Though there are several other teachers besides Ms. Villaran and Mr. Erdman that are a part of the LGBTQ community, other teachers and staff along with them have genuine hearts in wanting to support LGBTQ students in feeling safe in who they are and in their home community.




Tsukayama, Hayley and Mark Barman and Jerry Markon. “Gunman who killed 49 in Orlando
nightclub had pledged allegiance to ISIS”. The Washington Post. 13 June 2016. Web
Accessed 23 October 2020.

Wolf, Richard. “Supreme Court grants federal job protections to gay, lesbian, transgender
workers”. USA Today. USA Network. 15 June 2020. Web. Accessed 23 October 2020.