San Marcos High School ~ Santa Barbara, CA

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The King's Page

San Marcos Pride Week

SM Yearbook
Mr. Clow and junior Ben Watson at Pride Week’s Day of Silence event.

What does pride mean to you?

At San Marcos, pride is synonymous with school spirit. Games, rallies, and assemblies all contribute to a sense of San Marcos unity and establish a sense of community for Royals seeking one out. And yet, for many marginalized students, taking part in school culture feels impossible when their own identities are not being affirmed. How can one take pride in a campus that refuses to do the same for them?

For LGBTQ+ students, bigotry is not an uncommon experience. Often, queerness is treated like the butt of the joke. Knowledge surrounding sexuality and gender identities is often brushed over in classrooms—for both students and teachers. Ignorance is not a crime, but intentional ignorance can be a weapon. So, how can we move forward together? By listening to queer voices and elevating queer joy!

Day of Silence

Pride pins. (SM Yearbook)


Day of Silence was first formed by University of Virginia students Maria Pulzetti and Jessie Gilliam. The event was later adopted as a national project for the GLSEN queer rights organization. On the second Friday of each April, students across the country vow silence. This style of protest allows participants to act in solidarity with queer students who face harassment and their own “silencing” on school campuses.

The movement also demonstrates how each person, each classroom, and each school suffers when all voices aren’t being heard. Today, students in all fifty states have registered in the Day of Silence project with GLSEN—including San Marcos High School. 

Pride Week

Origami cranes from club booth Peace Crane Project.

Pride Week is a spirit week leading up to Day of Silence,” said president of the San Marcos Gender and Sexuality Alliance, junior Isabelle Chabinyc. 

“We had signups for the actual day to participate in it,” said Chabinyc, referring to a table set up outside the library throughout the week. 


Students who signed up to participate in Day of Silence received a sticker to demonstrate participation, and a set of instructions for the end of the week. 


“We also held a celebration on the Friday of the Day of Silence,” said Chabinyc. 


On April 12, San Marcos students joined others nationwide in taking the vow. During the first three periods of the day, protestors stayed quiet in their classrooms. But, once the fourth-period bell rang, hundreds of students headed to the quad to celebrate and reflect on their participation.


Out on the quad, students could enjoy food, music (dm @sanmarcoshighschoolgsa if you ever want queer playlists), and activities like face painting and chalk drawing. Booths stationed at the event featured other clubs on campus, like Women in Stem and the Writer’s Society. Students also had the opportunity to check out books from the library centered around LGBTQ+ stories, and purchase pins and other arts and crafts to support fundraising for next year’s event.

What’s next?

The Gay Straight Alliance banner hanging in the quad.


Pride Week is over, but support for and celebration of queer identities is not. Students can still find remnants of last week’s events—maybe from the leftover postering or the rainbow mural still in the heart of campus. Or maybe—hopefully—students can still feel it from our own student body. With every mural, every word (or every silence!), and even a slice of pizza, the Royals community gets a little braver, kinder, and more understanding. Happy Day of Silence, San Marcos—until next year!

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About the Contributor
Chelsea Miao
Chelsea Miao, Staff Writer
Chelsea is currently a junior at San Marcos High School. This is her first time taking Journalism and writing for the King’s Page! On campus she enjoys participating in clubs like the Gender and Sexuality Alliance, and is also a student in the AAPLE Academy. After the bell rings, catch her practicing ballet and classical Chinese dance, volunteering at the Sea Center, and on the Youth Making Change board. If you’re really lucky though, you’ll find her in online Clue games and David Attenborough fan clubs.
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