March 31st is the annual date that the transgender community and their wider community of allies acknowledge as Transgender Day of Visibility. This observance serves as a day to celebrate transgender people as well as bring attention to the discrimination they face.
At Nepean, this day started off with the morning announcements informing students and faculty of the date’s significance, but most importantly, announcing the bake sale that would be happening at the end of the day. Teachers had been encouraged earlier to wear the transgender colours of blue, pink, and white.
When the last bells of the day were rung and the corridors became flooded with people, a table manned by a small group of students was waiting for them in the main hallway.
The Nepean High School Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is a club of and for students who are a part of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. This event marked the first time in a while that the GSA had taken on an initiative that included the rest of the school’s participation.
The sale, which consisted of treats and goodies made by GSA members, was an event done for the purpose of raising money for charity. All the proceeds from the bake sale will be donated to Kind Space, an Ottawa-based organization committed to giving queer people a place to exist.
The initiative, which was planned in the upcoming weeks through biweekly club meetings, was spearheaded primarily by 12th grade student Nyx Marshall. Marshall described the planning process as being a mix of both extremely stressful and easygoing.
Originally, the bake sale was going to be just a pronoun pin sale; but seeing as how the library already has pins for free and the previous string of successful bake sales this school year, a switch in products was made. As well, the starting idea was that there would be two tables selling goods, though there was a last minute change due to the number of treats.
Unlike the other bake sales that had happened this school year, the GSA’s happened after school. With the recent opening of the school cafeteria, there has been a cease in other food-sellers at lunch so as not to cause competition.
The table was well stocked with brownies, muffins, and various kinds of cookies; as well as numerous pronoun pins, all with transgender flags on them. The treats were all sold at a price of two dollars, while the pins went for one. Students visiting the stand were encouraged to make donations. Out of all the treats on the table, most were equipped with small signs letting customers know what ingredients the goods contained. For the small number that weren’t, a sign was put up that read, “eat at your own risk!”
The runtime of the bake sale lasted well under an hour, the treats selling out quickly as if they had just vanished. The GSA members running the stand made even quicker work in cleaning up the table.
All in all, it was a successful venture for the GSA. As with the other instances this school year, it has been displayed time and again how well bake sales do in the Nepean environment. On whether this should be the type of thing the GSA should try again, Marshall said; “I really hope we can do this again in the future. Maybe even some time later this year, but who knows what the next GSA will do.”