Diversity through inclusivity

GSA wears rainbow colored cords to graduation for the first time


Provided by Leah Sides

Senior Leah Sides modeling the rainbow colored cord she will be wearing to graduation. Sides is ecstatic that she has been given this opportunity.

Grace Na, Staff Writer

Starting the 2020-2021 school year, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club members at Bonita Vista High School (BVH) have been given the opportunity to wear rainbow colored cords for graduation. The cord consists of colorful threads that are intertwined into one. 

The rainbow symbolizes the LGBTQIA+ community; the colors represent the vast spectrum of sexualities and gender identities. The GSA club aims to foster a safe, accepting and welcoming environment for the students who are part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and/or Questioning, Intersex, and Asexual+ (LGBTQIA+). 

“GSA is a club for LGBTQIA+ students and their allies who are not LGBTQIA+,” GSA advisor Marina Dillingham said.

Not too long ago, GSA President Victoria Webb and Vice President Faith Talamantez helped Dillingham turn the idea of students wearing the cords into a reality. They were able to get the idea approved by Associated Student Body (ASB) advisor Christopher Alvarez.

“I suggested the chords and the students really liked the idea and we had enough money for it. So some students helped me put the word out and we made a survey,” Dillingham said.


Starting the 2020-2021 school year, GSA members can wear rainbow colored cords to graduation. According to GSA Vice President Faith Talamantez, GSA students can now exhibit their pride for the LGBTQIA+ community. (Provided by Leah Sides)

Similarly, senior and GSA club member Leah Sides states that she and other club members were given a google form to fill out, so the club could gage how many seniors in GSA wanted the cords. According to Dillingham, GSA paid for the cords with funds they have raised in the 2019-2020 school year. Additionally, Sides has positive sentiments about the idea of wearing rainbow colored cords during graduation. 

“[The rainbow colored cords are] a wonderful idea [and it’s] something that’s very important. It should be celebrated because [we] have such a big day coming up with graduation, especially during a pandemic,” Sides said. “So the fact that you can celebrate [being part of GSA] with graduating and have something to wear is inspiring.” 

Talamantez also expressed her opinion on the GSA club being allowed to wear the cords this year. Similarly to Sides, she believes that graduating as a part of the GSA club is an achievement because of the discrimination LGBTQIA+ students face.

I’m glad that we are able to [wear the rainbow colored cord…] since a lot of queer students face a lot of adversity for being queer.”

— Faith Talamantez

“I’m glad that we are able to [wear the rainbow colored cord]. I think wearing the cord and getting to say we graduated and are proud members of the LGBTQ+ community is a special accomplishment, especially since a lot of queer students face a lot of adversity for being queer that can make graduating difficult,” Talamantez said.