Middle Schoolers Love L.O.V.E.

Unprecedented Lunch Club for Students to Combat Anti LGBTQ+ Stigma

Michelle Kim, Jade Lee, and Alyssa Chang

Poster designed by Bella Kim and Shannon Moore.

What does love remind you of? You will probably think of people you care about: the ones you have a deep, down-to-earth connection with. Love symbolizes a plethora of things to people, which is why it will always hold a special place in all of our hearts. Within the DIS campus, however, L.O.V.E. is an acronym of LGBTQ+ Organization for Various Ethnicities. Set up by a group of rising Freshmen, these middle schoolers seek to recognize and respect everyone, no matter what gender or sexual orientation they identify themselves with. The ultimate goal of the club is to create a safe environment that actively opposes discrimination regarding sexual orientation or gender identity. 

To understand what L.O.V.E. aims to be, Mr. Cameron, the supervisor, put it best: “I think it is important to help all students feel welcome and included in our school. And L.O.V.E. is a club that’s attempting to create a safe space for students to feel like they can be who they are.” 

Sophia in 8th grade remarked, “Since we already have a Students Organizing Against Racism (SOAR) group within our school, I just suddenly had a thought to create a society with similar purposes, but specifically for sexual discrimination.” Members of L.O.V.E. collectively agree that they think the DIS community, and Korea as a whole, still need a lot of improvements for sexual or gender minority rights, not to mention a change in the way people view those that identify as a part of the group. To do this, students should deeply understand those people and should actively participate.

For example, every Friday during secondary recess, members gather up in Mr. Cameron’s class and read articles or play Kahoot games that teach terminology specific to the LGBTQ+ community: GNC, gay, non-binary, and other vocab is taught to members to further educate students on the marginalized society. 

When reading articles regarding relevant issues on homophobia, transphobia, and other forms of hate directed towards the oppressed group, students have the opportunity to develop their critical thinking skills as they discuss these hardships and more, such as sexual diversity and gender dysphoria. Sophia, the co-founder of this club commented, “We like how students can interact with each other freely! We feel proud that they have a welcome space to communicate and discuss topics that would otherwise be considered controversial, or “odd”. Even outside of school hours, we talk openly about any issues we find important on Google Chat: It provides a comfortable space for them to speak out with confidence and be welcomed by allies to the LGBTQ+ community.” 

For those that may feel confused about their gender identity or sexuality, or even to those that may be “closeted” at the moment, just know that there is a supportive group of individuals that are willing to stand up for you: those that are will go through such complicated issues with you. They are also planning some fun events for students to join, so stay tuned for the new updates on L.O.V.E.