The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

The Student News Site of Richard Montgomery High School

The Tide

Polls

Which is the best food combination?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

SAGA promotes sexuality and inclusivity at RM

RMs+Sexuality+and+Gender+Alliance+Club+%28SAGA%29+provides+a+safe+space+for+all+students+that+want+to+learn+more+about+the+LGBTQ+community+and+allows+all+members+to+create+life-long+friendships+with+students+with+similar+interests.
Graphic by Matthew Adjodha
RM’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance Club (SAGA) provides a safe space for all students that want to learn more about the LGBTQ community and allows all members to create life-long friendships with students with similar interests.

The RM community is made up of many different backgrounds, identities and orientations. One of the ways it recognizes this is through the plethora of student lead clubs like the Sexuality And Gender Alliance club. The club is dedicated to providing a safe space for members of RM who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and allies.

Every Thursday during lunch, students gather in room 158 for the weekly meetings. Every meeting begins with eating and social time before they progress onto the main activity. Every week has something different. Some meetings take an educational approach, beginning with a slideshow on a particular subject, event or holiday; these are typically followed by discussion. Some are designated as days of visibility to raise awareness on specific groups in the LGBTQ+ community. Other days are simply meant for games and getting together with friends and other club members. 

“I myself am homosexual so I really enjoy [the club]. Teenage years are tough for everyone, but especially when you’re homosexual, it’s a different story in a way so it’s nice to be thrown back into that and see how people find themselves on the journey,” Spanish teacher and SAGA sponsor Jason Colchao said.

SAGA also extends its outreach past the club itself. In the past the club has worked with SGA and administration to create advisory lessons and town halls to address important topics. The most recent advisory lesson emphasized the importance of being an ally and making sure no additional hate crimes will take place on the campus as the lesson was specifically created after an incident involving a member of the LGBTQ community took place.  Students additionally took a trip to the 2023 D.C. Pride Parade in June, and are looking towards a 2024 trip as well. Members learn about current issues and news relating to the LGBTQ community, while striving to promote positivity and comfort all around RM. They get involved with the Rockville Pride parade and are making efforts to lead this representation in the county. 

Story continues below advertisement

Though the activities differ, the main agenda of SAGA is to provide a corner for RM for queer students and allies to socialize. As the club aims to provide a safe space for all students, anonymity for its members is guaranteed. There is no attendance taken and therefore no need to identify oneself. Additionally, members’ families are not informed of the student’s involvement in the club. Though they occasionally get involved with the school and local community, the emphasis is on sanctuary rather than advocacy and activism. There are no obligations whatsoever. 

“It’s a place that exists when you need it to exist for you, but it’s not something that you have to commit your life to,” senior Dylan Studley said. Studley is a member of the leadership board.

Leadership in SAGA isn’t run like a normal club. Instead of hierarchical roles such as president or vice president, the club is run by a board of students that work together to make decisions. Those who want to be part of it will enjoy a balance of responsibility that emphasizes the cooperative, communal aspect of the club. 

SAGA is open to anyone and everyone who wants to be there.  Whether you’re part of the LGBTQ+ community and looking for others to relate to, or an ally looking for ways to support your school community, SAGA has a place for you. 

With uprising conflicts all around the world, supporting the LGBTQ community is more important than ever before. MCPS has provided immense support towards LGBTQ students through welcome videos and guidance resources. All of these items can be located on the MCPS website with additional guidelines and documents. Students can also refer to their trusted adults when issues arise.

As one of the newer classes, LGBTQ studies has recently been added to course offerings. Students can learn more about all the different aspects of the community, while also engaging with peers that share similar interests.  

 “It’s a place where queer people can feel safe about expressing themselves and a place where other queer people could talk to each other,” senior and member Esme Pickel said. 

More to Discover
About the Contributor
Zita Ziniel, Opinions Writer