Connecting • Embracing • Transforming

Deena Soni

Live Out Loud has truly left an indelible impact in my school community. About seven years ago, right before Live Out Loud partnered with our school, we had about 5-6 students who were a part of our GSA club. I struggled to come up with thematic lessons that directly related to the LGBTQ+ community or even focus on monthly themes that provide students with a deeper sense of understanding about their identities.

I truly felt like a ship lost at sea without a lighthouse to guide me. It wasn’t until a long time staff member at our school named Roy Balgobin mentioned that I should reach out to Live Out Loud which is an organization that works with GSA clubs around the city by bringing our diverse students curriculum which provides them with a sense of visibility and purpose.

I literally remember traveling to Live Out Loud’s Headquarters across town to discuss my passion for the GSA community and wanting to partner with them. After doing so, I found myself feeling invigorated; my purpose renewed in bringing this club to life. Every week after school on Fridays, I’d lead discussions based on monthly themes from the intricate lessons that were provided by Live Out Loud. The themes that we focused on, the space space that was cultivated in our colorful classroom, brought so many of our diverse students to our meetings, so much so that our club doubled from just 4-5 students to over 20 students. 

Our students have now become leaders in our community by promoting GSA to throwing events such as a Trans Awareness bake sale, GSA Cafe Pride Event, and now for the fall in November, an amazing GSA KickOff Event that focuses on the visibility of Trans Lives and Voices. 

Without Live Out Loud, our school would not be such a pillar of acceptance where visibility, diversity, individuality, and identity are consistently celebrated. Thank you for all that you continue to do for our students. I am so humbled and amazed at the very work of this organization. 

Denna Soni, MST
A.P. English Language and Composition and 10th Grade English Teacher
Gender Sexuality Alliance Advisor
Senior Advisor
Debate Coach
English Department Lead