WHS alumnus Michael Gentilucci speaks to GSA


Credit: Naomi Lathan

Pictured above are GSA members and advisors and speaker Michael Gentilucci. Gentilucci, a WHS alumnus, returned to the school to share his experience as a member of the LGBTQ community.

Naomi Lathan

As part of the Live Out Loud’s homecoming project, Michael Gentilucci returned to Wayland to talk with the GSA after school on June 6. Gentilucci, a member of the WHS class of 2009, has worked for companies such as IMAX and NBCUniversal and Viacom.

A small group of students and teachers sat in the Academic Center, eager to hear Gentullucci’s story. The discussion started with Gentilucci sharing his experience growing up in Wayland. He was an involved student, being a major part of WHSTE (Wayland High School Theater Ensemble), Yearbook, WSPN and much more. Although Gentilucci was not a part of GSA when he was in high school, he believes it is important to have a GSA. According to Gentilucci and the majority of the GSA, the club provides a place for the community to talk about issues.

For Gentilucci it wasn’t until after high school that he was able to learn about his sexuality. On his first day at college, his roommate asked him if he was gay. When he answered yes, it was the first time he had come out to anyone. According to Gentilucci, coming out opened doors for him and allowed him to join clubs he wouldn’t have joined otherwise.

In the opinion of the students and teachers in the Academic Center, although Wayland is a progressive school, it can still be more accepting to the LGBT community. Students found that the level of acceptance of LGBT people varied depending on who student’s friends are. Out of all the environment discussed, male athletics was the hardest.

According to Gentilucci, an important area to focus on is education. Many in the group feel that history classes don’t teach LGBT history. In Gentilucci’s opinion, this can lead to ignorance.

Despite this, Gentilucci is proud to come from a school that is taking such big steps forward. For him, everything that Wayland is doing makes more of an impact because it is being pushed by the students. Everything from the gender neutral bathrooms to simple conversations about race and sexuality are important pushes from the students.