Love Club Provides A Safe Space For McKinley


By Cheska Orias

A drawing representing the Love club and its inclusivity.

In McKinley High School, there are many clubs with many purposes, and the Love Club upholds their purpose of being a safe place to find support, advice, and new friends. The Love Club had originally started in 2020, taking a break during the pandemic years. It had started when Jasmine Martin,  a student at McKinley,  asked English teacher Evon Le to manage the Love Club due to the fact that there wasn’t a club with this mission during the time. 

Evon Le is the advisor for McKinley’s Love Club. She said the purpose of the Love Club is to allow people who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community, and those who support it, to be able to have a place to socialize and get to know each other better. She said that during typical club meetings, they do ice breakers and discuss fundraisers and events. She said that the club has also talked about serious topics regarding mental health, personal image, and the like. The way they decide the topic is through voting. She said that she had accepted the role of advisor of Love Club because she has many friends who are in the LGBTQ+ community, and she herself has noticed that there wasn’t a safe place for McKinley students during the time. “The club is welcome for anyone to join, if you are curious you can just stop by to learn more,” Le said. 

“I want a safe space for these students to either talk to an adult or a fellow peer,” Le said.

Evon Le gave emphasis on wanting students to have someone to talk to about different problems. 

“Be comforted knowing there are people like you and support you, “ Le said.

The name Love Club was chosen because the advisor wanted the club to be more social and less exclusive. Le wanted to avoid other students to think that the club was only for a specific community. Le said the club was originally planned to be named the GSA Club, or the Genders and Sexualities Alliances Club. She said McKinley had a similar club before, though the problem was people immediately thought you were gay if you were in the club, even if the club was meant for those who supported the community too. Le said to counteract this, she and Jasmine Martin, the student who founded it named it the Love Club to work around this situation. 

Nickolas Castillo is a senior who is also the vice president of the Love Club. He said he joined the club because of him being in the LGBTQ+ community. Castillo said a typical club meeting talks about the events they would like to plan and other things the members would like to do. He said the Love Club is here if you need someone to talk to, and the way you can contact them is through their Instagram page, which is @mhs.loveclub. 

“It’s a safe place for other LGBTQ+ members to come to and be themselves,” Castillo said. 

James Rodden, a senior, is the honorary officer of the Love Club, the Honorary officer acts like a second vice president in the Love Club. He said that he joined because of his friend, Nickolas Castillo. Rodden said he wasn’t interested at first, but got to know the club better and changed his mind. He said he wanted to have more opportunities to be there for the members, so he became the honorary officer. He said the Love club is a safe space for anyone. “Come to our club to feel safe and loved,” Rodden said. He said he pushes the club to be as inclusive as possible. He said he also strives to care for all the members. He said the club received some hate because others thought the club was just exclusive to the community they support, even though that isn’t the case.

“We are just here for you no matter what identity, race, or sexuality you are,” Rodden said. 

Gage Cisneros, a sophomore, is the current president of the Love Club. He said the purpose of the Love Club is to encourage others to reach out and not stay hidden. He said the reason why he joined and became the president was because his friends were in it, and he wanted to meet new people. The last president recommended him to try out the role. He said that the Love Club takes their time to learn about different communities and meet new people. 

“There is always a safe place in the school, it’s your choice to pick where you want to be,” Cisneros said.