Pride Picnic a First at Gilbert High School


Gen. Staff

Gilbert High School hosted the first AUHSD Pride Picnic on May 18th after school. The event was held outside by the stage. Guests included GSA advisors from Anaheim, Lexington, Ball, Gilbert, and their student club members, friends, and family members. Also in attendance were Gilbert staff members and their families, Grant Schuster the president of the Anaheim Secondary Teachers Association, staff from the OC LGBTQ+ Center including CEO Stephanie Van Dyke-Camacho, and many friends and allies of the LGBTQ+ student community.

There was an awards and recognition ceremony that included Lavender grad honorees receiving lavender stoles from the OC Center, and several students, teachers, and staff were recognized for their support of the LGBTQ+ community. Gilbert High School’s Teacher Ally of the Year was revealed to be the amazing Mrs. Lisa Holley, and the Rainbow Gladiator of the Year was announced as Mr. Jose Lara. All GSA participants in attendance received a Rainbow certificate. There was music, games, food, contests, and a spin-to-win prize table where students and guests could take home items like custom designed Pride t-shirts, handmade Pride bracelets, hats and visors, candy, pride fans, and other souvenirs.

The event began at 4:30 and concluded at 6:30. It included a catered picnic dinner, Pride cake, and candy provided by Laguna Hang-ups’ artist Paul Goldie who flew all the way in from New Hampshire to volunteer. Paul and our very own GSA advisor, Ms. Frese, have been friends since they met in 2004 at the Pageant of the Masters where Paul was an assistant to the director and stage operations manager for over 25 years, and Ms. Frese and her kids were volunteer cast models.

Paul has served the LGBTQ+ community for decades as an activist and volunteer in AIDS rides and other Pride events. He is also an Air Force Veteran. Paul was helped by longtime Pageant of the Masters crew member Cindy Solomon. Together Paul and Cindy served over 75 guests at the GSA Pride Picnic, who all support the LGBTQ+ community. Of all the items served, from sandwiches and salads, chips, drinks, and dessert, the Pride cake took the cake.