Club Spotlight: Alphabet Club


Alphabet club marches during lunch. Courtesy of Anika Sagar.

The Wilcox Alphabet Club, also known as the ABC Club, was created to learn more about famous figures in history who were queer. Formed during the second semester of the 2020-2021 school year, the club hopes to spread awareness on the LGBTQ community.

Two juniors (now seniors), Jojo Luiz and Anika Sagar, started the Alphabet Club last year during distance learning. Although they wanted to wait until the start of the 2021-2022 school year when it would be in-person, they already had a lot of information to present to the Wilcox community and were excited  to share their knowledge. At first, they thought of the club  as a joke (hence its name), but now the Alphabet Club is a safe haven for anyone, queer or not.

With the primary goal of spreading awareness on LGBTQ figures and representations in history, the club meets every Wednesday in the lecture hall to learn about LGBTQ members and events. Alphabet Club members learn about their community and other relevant things that are not commonly taught in classrooms.

Although California’s FAIR (Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, Respectful) Education Act, passed in 2011, states that all public schools are required to teach LGBTQ history, club presidents Jojo and Anika feel like teachers do not know how to bring up the topic. For one, not many core textbooks mention LGBTQ people for their discoveries. As a result, teachers would have to spend time researching, similar to how Jojo and Anika spend hours researching for their lecture on Wednesdays.

Not only does the Alphabet Club make an impact at Wilcox, the club presidents were also on a state panel led by the state superintendent of the California Education Department, Tony Thurmond. In this state-wide panel, the presidents made a speech regarding the LGBTQ issues for high school students. Jojo said, “We talked a lot about how our experiences have been specifically about prejudice and forms of homophobia and transphobia.” They also discussed their personal experiences with the superintendent.

The presidents admitted one of the aspects that might make students hesitant to join the club was its educational meetings. As students would most likely not attend the meetings because they  would not want to learn outside of classrooms. However, they reassured that the lectures are enjoyable  and is a time when students can talk as well as eat their lunch. Also, students who are not queer might be reluctant to join, but the purpose of the club is to learn about the history of the LGBTQ community.

Recently, vandalism in bathrooms promoting anti-LGBTQ speech caused the presidents to be shocked and disappointed. To inform  the perpetrator as well as everyone in the school that this kind of act and speech is  intolerable, the club organized a march in less than 24 hours. To the surprise of Jojo and Anika, more than 100 teachers and students showed up to join their first march ever.As this sudden incident could have led students to feel threatened, they marched to reassure students that they are not alone as the school will not let this incident slide by.

Anika states, “On a personal note, I’m very proud of all the students in our club, as well as  students who aren’t in our club but also were able to participate in the march, along with a lot of the teachers. Seeing that amount of support for the LGBTQ+ community is really nice to see.”

The presidents wanted to mention that aside from the club being a possible safe space for students, there is also a “see something say something” form at the bottom of the school website. Anyone can anonymously report sex discrimination (including harrasment and violence) to SCUSD’s Title IX Coordinator Lise K. Storm. All reports and complaints will be investigated thoroughly with the information given.

The Alphabet Club welcomes students of all genders, sex, race, etc. to their meetings in the lecture hall on Wednesdays at lunchtime. With hopes of spreading awareness and knowledge on the LGBTQ community as well as  its history and achieving more for the community, the presidents Jojo and Anika are constantly looking for opportunities within and outside of Wilcox.