Tolerance Club Thriving on Campus


Bianca Egan

The Culver City High School Tolerance Club defines itself as “a safe space for queer kids and ally students.” Caleb Green, Tolerance Co-President, affirms that it is in fact a place for anyone “to have a good time.” LGBTQ+ and ally clubs are seen throughout the nation at many different schools of all levels of education, but each club fosters a unique environment. Through educating themselves on queer movements in history, playing games, and discussing queer culture, Culver City’s Tolerance Club has built a safe space of weekly meetings on campus for all looking to join. They have a recurring “queer song of the week” segment of their meetings, to recognize and highlight prominent queer figures, and introduce members to more queer media.

 It isn’t just the mission statement that attracts members, but the people within it as well. The way individual members present themselves with pride and happiness makes an impact on the overall feeling of the club, and the authenticity in which members can truly be themselves. The judgement that LGBTQ+ communities face can impact young queer people’s view of themselves as well as other people. Part of the positive effect of Tolerance Club is helping to push past these mental blockers, mainly through seeing the self accepting examples set by other students. Caleb says “I admired the members a lot and what they were doing, and it really inspired me to [join leadership].” Helping create more open and understanding people is a major benefit to the community on campus, as well as the LGBTQ+ community in general.

 Currently, Tolerance is a thriving group on campus, open to anyone and everyone who needs a spot to express themselves in. This has not always been the case however, as the club has seen a significant evolution since its original beginning at Culver High in the 80’s. Then, Tolerance was a safe haven and informal space for queer people on campus to get together. Seen as a sort of escape from harassment, members would find some solace with other people within the community. Even as little as four years ago the club’s popularity wasn’t high, but through the leadership and increasing enthusiasm of members like Caleb, the club has grown.

Tolerance hopes that the continued acceptance of queer people in society will also expand the number of members, and the overall size of the club. As of right now, they have 102 people signed up for the club, but are looking for more. A large priority of Tolerance is to pass the torch to incoming 9th graders, and the underclassmen members of the club in order to continue the expansion. Overall, as the club continues to grow on campus they would like to make it abundantly clear that the club really is for anyone, regardless of how you choose to identify. In order to make Tolerance the “queer party” that Caleb envisions, they will need to maintain their committed leadership and inspiring members, as well as the positive environment they currently have.