Emma Goes Clubbing: You ain’t never had an ally like me

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Emma Goes Clubbing: You ain’t never had an ally like me

For the second installment in her club series, guest writer Emma Marton visits the WHS Alliance Club.

For the second installment in her club series, guest writer Emma Marton visits the WHS Alliance Club.

For the second installment in her club series, guest writer Emma Marton visits the WHS Alliance Club.

For the second installment in her club series, guest writer Emma Marton visits the WHS Alliance Club.

Emma Marton

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For my first blog post, I had decided to visit a club I’d never been to before. For this one, I thought it’d be cool to let you guys see a club I’ve visited almost every week for my entire high school career. And that’s the Alliance club.

What makes it really hard to write about this club is what also makes it so great: It’s 100% confidential. It’s almost like a personal bubble, something that I think all students in high school could benefit from. But the club is not just discussion and learning who you are. It is also about spreading the message of love and, well, alliance with each other. In the past, Alliance has worked hard to achieve many different goals and the weekly meetings revolve around that. Since the club does have different types of meetings, I’ll give you three examples of how weekly meetings have gone.

Free/Discussion Week:
We’ve been talking solidly for half an hour now. In that time, we’ve talked about school, about a prom-proposal in the future and had a blind taste test of our snacks. And yes, there is a difference between the two similar brands. Eventually, we start talking about queer issues. There are stories told and discussions to be had. At one point, we talk about whether or not we keep daily journals and why.

“I don’t. Some people find it relaxing to write their thoughts and feelings. I just… don’t,” I tell the group. “I find writing stories more relaxing. Not stories about what’s going around me either. I could fail a test and want to write a love story, you know? It’s my stress reliever.” Another member nods.

“I draw. Emma, you saw me working on that character last week when I was having that horrible day.” I smile, remembering their work. It was amazing. “That’s what I do.”

“I kept a journal when I was young,” one of our advisers comments. “It was so interesting to reread. It’s like I can understand what you guys are going through because it was so similar to what I was going through then.” The conversation easily slips from this to something else. Everyone gets a chance to speak, and we take the time to listen to each other as well.

The Slow Week:
Only two other members are there when I arrive. They smile at me and have already pulled a chair down so that I could sit beside them. Madame Lange is sitting in the background, listening only for now.

“Have we started yet?” I ask, knowing I’m slightly late again.

“Barely, we’re just planning.”

“For the video?” They nod and I take out my computer.

“We should make a checklist,” they suggest, fingers quick to correct the document. It’s sluggish, our work. We need to get this video done, but one member has already informed me they are leaving at 2:45 p.m. I want to leave early since my mother has a concert tonight and another one of our main members hasn’t shown up. We’re short people because of sports or, more likely, the play. Once we’ve entered a few details, we decide to end the day.

“We can write the actual script next week when we’ll have more members,” I comment. “We know what we want, but we need to have an idea of what we have to work with.” The other members nod.

“Maybe I can reach out and change the date. Give us another month so we can really do this right,” an adviser comments. We nod in agreement and trickle out, the clock barely reading 2:45 p.m. More will be done next week.

The “Normal” Week:
We’ve started with gossiping about school. There are discussions of the latest test or moans about how much physics sucks – then arguments about that with one of the other members who just happens to love physics. It comes with an offer of help since that’s who they are. That’s who everybody in this club is. The kind of people who’d offer you help if they can give it.

Eventually, we fall into a topic. This week we’re planning the Waltham House donation. We have paper bags and are given markers so we can decorate and label them as we discuss things, mostly how to work this donation.

“Can we still do a competition?” I ask, unsure since I’ve missed last week’s meeting. This was an idea we’d had, but it didn’t seem to come together. Another member, our leader at the time, shakes their head.

“It didn’t work out. We couldn’t find a prize and we’re too late. Nobody would get the word out.”

“Also, we don’t really want to make this a competition,” another member pipes in, reaching for another marker.

“Alright then. How about the advisory announcement?” Our leader has their computer open, no bags in front of them.

“Already working on it. I’ve written out a summary of what donations we accept and why this is a big deal.” I nod and we continue discussing. Two meetings later, we’re separating the contributions. We have several. Bags of toothbrushes – bags of them – feminine necessities, makeup, soap, shampoo, blankets and so many more. We’ve been successful, but there’s always something else to tackle.

Overall, it’s hard to describe this club. I highly recommend at least checking out this club whether you are a proud ally, whether you’re a member of the LGBTQ+ community yourself – which you definitely do not have to be – or whether you just want to learn more about it. We are happy to provide information, explanations and answer questions. In the end, we’re a group of people who just want to understand, educate and be queer friends together.

See you next time,
Emma

P.S.: If you’re wondering why I’ve mentioned no names or used they/them/their pronouns, it’s to protect everyone’s privacy. This is, again, a very private club. Also, if you’d like to learn more about how to join Alliance or what we do, visit my new website! Link posted below:

emmailonamarton.wixsite.com/whsclubs

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