”When I started as a freshman at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, I was overjoyed to finally be part of a
community that accepted me for who I am. This was the first time I had ever been away from home, as well as the first time I could be open to my peers about my sexuality. I met so many other queer students and I found many queer faculty members to look up to, but I found it hard to connect to other students outside of my classes. I was lacking a sense of community. I decided to start QueerSpace the summer after my freshman year (with the help of our amazingly helpful admissions team). Our first action as a club was to march in the 2016 Cincinnati Pride Parade. It’s definitely been a hard process. The Art Academy is a smaller school, and at the time there weren’t any active student-run clubs. Since then I have slowly built upon this group with other students, hoping to create more connections between queers at the Art Academy, and each year our club has grown larger! During the school year, we have monthly meetings, and we have staged a poetry event, potlucks, bowling nights, and our own exhibition in the school gallery. We have also kept our tradition of walking in the Cincinnati Pride Parade every summer; each year we try to top the next. My hope is that the group continues to grow and cultivate new connections even after I graduate. I’m happy to say that QueerSpace has made it easier for other students to start their own clubs as well.”
– Cecilia Padilla (AAC 2019)