LGBTQ+ youth celebrated at Models of Pride 2018


Isabel Thuesen

Author Lee Wind talks about the unspoken LGBTQ+ in history.

Isabel Thuesen

Sophomore Stephanie Pynes woke up the morning of Oct. 20 excited and nervous. She and four other members of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s Pride Club were up at 5 a.m. getting ready for a full day of fun activities.

“I would’ve liked for all of my friends to be here but I know some of them can’t come because of family,“ said Pynes, the club’s vice president. “I hope they’ll be able to celebrate one day.”

Over 1,000 teens from all over Los Angeles woke up bright and early to attend Models of Pride 2018 at California State University, Los Angeles. Some attendees also came from other cities throughout California. Models of Pride is a non-profit organization that sets up a whole day of celebration for LGBTQ+ youth where students can be themselves. Students of various ages said they were very happy to be able to celebrate their pride or just be there to support friends. Most had come on buses but some came on their own.

An introduction session for early comers explained why being happy to be apart of the LGBTQ+ community is important. Teens even got to speak to Evan Low, California’s first gay Asian politician. He said why aiming to make a difference in the world was important.

“I know America is messed up right now but if even a handful of you went out tomorrow and tried to make a difference for the LGBTQ+ community, then that’s a start on the right path,” Low said.

Later on in the day, there were many different sessions you could attend, varying from learning about consent, coming out to your family and how to be confident in your own body and identity. One such session was “LGBTQ+ in History” where students got to meet author Lee Wind who talked about the sonnets William Shakespeare wrote for another man and his book on how Abraham Lincoln was bisexual.

But if the students could not deal with all the noise of sessions, then there was a quiet room you could go to calm down in and an art room where many got face paint done or made paintings that got hung up for everyone to see.

“Models of Pride is fun and every year it seems more organized and more enjoyable,” Pride Club President Chelsea Bangert said. “I want more people to join Pride Club so they can come and experience it too.”