Students launch petition to form gender equality club

Gender and sexuality are an extremely touchy topics for most, especially for teenagers. This time period is usually when you figure out just what exactly your gender or sexuality is, but because so many often discourage you to explore it any further, the subject itself has become a controversy.

However, to help students out in this complicated situation, junior Aditi Rao is currently out on a mission to bring an LGBT club called SAGE (Sexuality and Gender Equality) to Cedar Falls High School. The club’s purpose is become Cedar Falls’s first educational resource relating to gender and sexuality.

“Gender stereotyping, rigid gender roles and homophobia are prevalent in many ways throughout the school, often unintentionally,” Rao said. “By having a discussion about these topics, SAGE will make a more open community where every student feels safe and welcome.”

Rao began this along with junior Katarina Walther, junior Merlin MacGillivray and senior Joshua Peterson as a project for their Women and Gender Studies at UNI. The goal of their assignment specifically is to create social change by taking on a topic from their class material, which in this case, they chose socialization of gender in high school.

“The four of us really wanted to help end this,” Rao said. “In a critical time period for young people, no one should feel forced or confined to a lifestyle due to their gender.”

To help reach their goal of starting this club, the group set up an online petition to help gain support. After only a week, the petition already has over half the signatures needed to help make it recognizable. However, that’s still not enough, so they are encouraging supporters to help and to spread the word.

“This is an ideal, but our school has not taken strides to achieve this,” Rao said. “If this is something you believe in, help us out. We challenge students to rise to the occasion, sign and circulate the petition so we can gauge how interested people really are and, furthermore, let us know you care about this so we can make SAGE a reality.”

Those who are interested can visit Rao’s Twitter account (@AditiRao83) to find the link to the petition on and sign it.

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