Latin Hosts the Legacy Wall


by Hannah Davis
Ms. Ross discovered the Legacy Wall at the March on Springfield for Marriage Equality and immediately wanted to bring it to Latin. GSM heads Annie and Haley Goldenberg loved the idea as well. Mr. Greer, Ms. Maajid, Ms. Callis, and Ms. LC spent a year creating an educational plan that would support the Legacy Wall to ensure its success. But it was well worth the wait. 
Annie said it was important for her to have the Wall displayed at Latin to “bring understanding, awareness, and tolerance about the historical people who are LGBTQ+ and their role in history but also to create a safer environment where people who may not have been understanding may be more tolerant.”
For Ms. Ross, “it was a dream come true to see it come and see people so engaged.”
Eleventh and Twelfth-grade dean Mr. Edwards agrees, saying, “The Legacy Wall helps us reject a single story of queerness by expanding our knowledge of the considerable contributions made by LGBTQ figures throughout history.”
Latin is the second high school to receive the honor of hosting the Legacy Wall because we are fortunate enough to have both the resources and interest to merit the installation. To celebrate the installation, Latin hosted a reception, held an upper school assembly featuring The Legacy Project’s founder, Victor Salv, and incorporated the Wall into some classes’ curriculums. For instance, the twelfth grade LGBTQ literature class and the history elective “What is Race” visited the Wall together and spoke about the role of intersectionality both on the Wall and more generally. Their discussion emphasized the aspects of the Wall that made it successful and what could have been improved. For example, in the transgender section of the Wall, the individuals were first mentioned by their biological sex instead of their gender identity. Elizabeth Gill, a member of the LGBTQ literature class said, “It was really nice to talk about both the good and bad because it isn’t perfect. Obviously, there will never be a perfect way because there are so many different aspects but it is good to create the discussion.” 
Latin’s Alliance for Women (LAW) also visited the Legacy Wall during one of their recent meetings. Lulu Ruggiero, one of LAW’s heads, said that one of the club’s goals for this year is to “include not just the word ‘woman’ and people who use she/her/hers pronouns but include all self-identifying woman” to promote intersectional feminism. Personally, Lulu says she “feels a great sense of pride living in such a welcoming community as Boystown,” but she is “even prouder to be part of a community like Latin where the Legacy Wall is welcomed and accepted.”
Even without scheduled time, many students visited the Wall during passing periods or during frees. Senior Savannah Brock said, “I wanted to see it because it’s such a cool opportunity to be one of the only schools hosting it.”
Haley Goldenberg is happy with the impact the Wall had both on the GSM affinity group and the school as a whole, saying “While it was really nice for GSM to visit as a group because club membership has tripled this year, it’s awesome that it isn’t just for GSM and can reach the whole school.”
If you didn’t have the opportunity to see the Legacy Wall while it was at Latin, you can read about it on The Legacy Project Chicago’s website or you can explore the Legacy Walk in Boystown.