Since 2011, Nueva families have marched in the annual San Francisco Pride Parade, which takes place in June. For the first time in 10 years, the Nueva contingent was not able to participate in the parade, as it and many other Pride events throughout the world were cancelled because of the coronavirus pandemic. While members of the Nueva community were certainly disappointed, the support our students, faculty, staff, and parents have for the LGBTQ+ community remains strong.
“In 2011, a few independent schools in the Bay Area Directors of Admission group, including Nueva, decided we wanted to march in the parade,” said Kim Overton, associate director of admissions for the Lower School. “It was an exciting time; we had just expanded the Middle School and started a GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliance) club for Middle School students. Mission II was coming about and we decided we wanted to connect with the community outside of Nueva.”
The show of marching in the parade helped students and faculty feel at home at Nueva.
Chris Scott, faculty advisor of the Upper School GSA, said “I’ve witnessed Nueva students of all shapes, sizes, colors, and identities step up and support GSA and LGBTQ+ issues, ranging from on-campus events like taking classes on these issues, participating in all-school discussions, and advocating for administrative changes to off-campus opportunities like volunteering at local organizations, taking field trips to SF and NYC, and marching in Pride events across the Bay Area.”
“Our goals for GSA are to provide a safe, open space where important conversations can be held, and where students feel comfortable and accepted,” said Sasha G., Middle School GSA co-lead for 2019–20.
Her Upper School counterparts, rising senior Eleanor M. and recent graduate Max R., echoed those sentiments. “We want to provide a safe and comfortable place for LGBTQ+ students to be themselves and to educate the Upper School community on LGBTQ+ topics and issues.”
While students and families were unable to march, the GSA club leads helped to compile a list of virtual opportunities for students. Additionally, Sasha said, “We had conversations about the importance and history of Pride.”
“I have been so proud of Nueva for marching in the SF Pride Parade,” Kim said. “It’s such a family-friendly event, and it is such a kick walking down Market Street with all that joy, gorgeous weather, music, and dancing. It has been a great way to be part of the larger Bay Area community.”
Nueva students have clearly helped cultivate a community where LGBTQ+ students and faculty feel comfortable being themselves.
“I was incredibly touched by how supportive my students were when I brought in leftovers from my gay wedding cake to share with them after getting married in June 2018,” Chris said. “I am immensely proud to work at such a welcoming and supportive place like Nueva, although we still have more work to do to make it more diverse and inclusive.”
Nueva looks forward to getting the opportunity to march (hopefully) in next year’s Pride Parade. Until then, the GSA clubs continue to be a stalwart space for LGBTQ+ people and their allies to feel safe and supported at Nueva.