The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Islanders Encourage Other Students to “Say Gay” with Walkout

Photo By Brooks Kahsai

Friday, March 11, at 10 a.m. over 250 MIHS students joined a nationwide string of walkouts against anti-queer legislation passed in Florida and Texas. The walkout organizers consisted of several student speakers who shared personal stories or messages of support.

Students were urged to utilize their right to vote in support of LGBT students when able, and to support LGBT students in their lives and donate to relevant organizations. The demonstration was entirely peaceful, and lasted around 20 minutes.

“It was amazing. This school is very queer-friendly overall when compared to the broader queer representation, especially with [states] like Florida, [where] they don’t accept gay people,” protest organizer Chase Schubert said. “But here, it’s wonderful that we had such a big turnout, and I’m proud of our students.”

Additional student speaker MirMattia Ottaviani said, “The issue right now is the erosion of LGBTQ rights is happening at the state level, and so at this point we have to take it to the federal level. Ideally we’d like to see laws passed that protect queer and trans youth at the ferderal level. You know, to protect them in all states from laws and legislatures that might pass.”

The current legislation is not applicable to Washington students or schools, but many at MIHS feel compelled to show their solidarity.

“I’d just say that I once again am very proud of this school and of their solidarity with joining us. I’d like to thank all of our students, but most of all what to keep in mind is that all these legislations in Florida and Texas are going to get children killed, and that is what is most important to keep in mind,” Schubert said.

In regards to the future, the organizers urge that the fight against discrimination is not over.

“It doesn’t stop at the walkout, right?” Ottaviani said. “You have to keep going on and fighting for these issues, because if you don’t there are people who will take the opposing side, and erode us. So, donate to the charities, vote and reach out to people who you know will be affected by these bills.”

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Betty Butler
Betty Butler, Social Media Manager

Betty Butler (she/her) is a junior and in her third year at The Islander as the social media manager. Last year, she was a member of the features team and is super excited to be back again. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her friends and family, going to concerts and hiking.

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    GracieApr 1, 2022 at 1:08 pm

    Great coverage Betty!

  • A

    abbyMar 17, 2022 at 12:58 pm

    These photos are so good!