Club Profile: SAGA


The Albuquerque Academy community prides itself on being a diverse and inclusive community, but most Academy community members don’t know that the school has a Sexuality and Gender Alliance. Albuquerque Academy’s Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA) was formed in fall of 2018 by Rosa Bieber-Stanley, ‘21 and Major Aaron Brickhouse, ‘21, with Dr. Carson Morris as the club sponsor. On the formation of SAGA, current club leader Bieber-Stanley stated in an interview, “The Academy used to have a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), but it was swallowed by SDLC (Student Diversity Leadership Club) a number of years ago. Since SDLC focuses mainly on issues of race, we decided that the school needed a space in which LGBTQ+ issues could be discussed, specifically.” While many schools still have a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), SAGA has a club name that encompasses a broader spectrum of identities. The purpose of SAGA is to create a community in which 10/12 LGBTQ+ students and their allies can feel comfortable and have “a confidential discussion place,” according to Bieber-Stanley. This is important because Generation Z has a larger population of individuals who don’t identify as straight than any previously, with a study from Ipsos Mori showing that only 66% of individuals between the ages of 16 and 22 identify as straight.

In addition to creating this community, last year, SAGA club leaders gave a presentation to educate and inform the 10/12 division about LGBTQ+ individuals, their struggles, and ways in which Academy community members can become better allies. The club has also made efforts to create a more inclusive Academy community by beginning a dialogue with the health teachers in an effort to create a more LGBTQ+ friendly health class curriculum. This dialogue began after club discussion that found that member experience in Academy health classes had generally been heteronormative and at times contained non-inclusive languge. While improvements have been made to the health class curriculum in recent years, the club reached out to the health teachers who have been receptive and open to change. This dialogue is ongoing.

Club meetings normally take place during Day 7 Club Time when school is in session, but have moved online since in-person classes were shut down. While SAGA is “a confidential discussion place” to protect the anonymity of club members, it “welcomes new members who don’t have to be members of the LGBTQ+ community to share their stories, ask questions, or simply sit and listen.”