UHS GSA (Gender Sexuality Affinity) has expanded the school’s Rainbow Library, which was established last spring. The expansion of the Rainbow Library not only broadens the literature of queer authors in the school but also adds books pertaining to gender studies.
The purpose of the Rainbow Library is to give a small group of undermined authors a voice and students access to queer authors.
According to the Indiana Department of Education, there are currently 1,112,611 students enrolled in K-12 school. Of those students, only 67,000 students in Indiana have access to a GLSEN Rainbow Library.
GSA co-presidents and seniors Khari Dennis (’24) and Sophie Francis (’24) want to ensure that the Rainbow Library continues to grow and becomes a permanent on-campus resource for students to have access to queer literature & authors.
When asked why there is a need to have just LGBTQIA+ authors, Sophie said, “We need LGBTQIA+ authors to tell stories of coming out so that we can relate and see ourselves. Think just like television.”
Khari’s response was similar but added that she appreciates the storytelling of the BIPOC experiences and being able to see herself come alive in books.
Khari and Sophie appreciate about UHS is how supportive both students and teachers have been in respecting the library and what it stands for. “It doesn’t matter what you are attracted to, but please respect each other,” said Sophie.
Sophie and Khari recommend reading The Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman and The Fire Never Goes Out: A Memoir in Pictures by N.D. Stevenson for those who are beginning their journey to discovering themselves.
If you want to read more on allyship, Sophie and Khari recommend reading books from the Alice Walker collection.