In a world filled with inequality, there are a few that decide to take a stand for the oppressed. The Human Rights Campaign recently held an essay contest for youth to share their experiences with gender inequality in their own lives.
Sophomore Klarissa Hudson submitted an essay to this competition and will soon attend a gala dinner hosted by HRC to honor her win. SLAMedia interviewed Klarissa about her essay and other related topics.
SLAMedia: Tell me a bit about yourself.
Klarissa: Well, I’m 15 and a sophomore at SLA. I have a sister here who is a senior. I
am in love with stuffed animals. As long as they’re cute though. I have
more than 25 in just my room alone. I enjoy singing, dancing, and being
silly at times. I write poetry as well as stories; but I do write essays
and pieces when required in school. On free time I read real books and
manga to pass the time. Other than that I’m a pure athlete; in a way.
I’m in love with doing sports and trying to do them whenever given the
SLAMedia: Do you enjoy writing? What do you write about?
Klarissa: Yes I do. I usually write on many different things. There are books that I
used to write in school just to give my friends something to read and
keep them coming back to see what happens next. Then I write in like a
journal to get out the day to day frustrations and problems so I’m not
keeping all my emotions inside. Other than that I write essays and
papers that express how I feel on a topic with some examples.
SLAMedia: What inspired you to write your essay?
Klarissa: I actually had my friend Ray and teacher Mr. Block convince me to do it.
Umm, well once I got started I tried to think of my views on the topic. I
know friends who aren’t straight and I combined their stories with my
experiences as a straight female who is friends with LGBTs.
SLAMedia: Your essay talks a lot about LGBT equality, I assume you’re a supporter, correct?
Klarissa: Yes and no. I do not support per-say the actions and things they do. But I
do support that they deserve the same rights and equality that we have. I
have no problem with knowing and hanging out with LGBTs. I love them
and some of my closest friends are LGBTs.
SLAMedia: Did any personal experience help you in your writing process? If Yes, how so?
Klarissa: Umm, yeah. Just having LGBT friends who had to go through hardships. Also,
being a friend with them has earned me some experiences. I used them in
my paper to help convey what goes on and how I feel with my views. I
won’t disown my friends because of their choices because I love them and
care for them. I only wish them the best and stay a phone call away if
they need me.
SLAMedia: Your essay certainly seems well polished and done, who were your supporters in the process?
Klarissa: My supporters were Joshua Block; my teacher, and Rahed Albarouki; my best
friend. They really helped me alot with this whole essay.
SLAMedia: Anything you would like to say to them?
Klarissa: I just want to say thank you. If not for them I wouldn’t of entered the
contest at all. They gave me the confidence to try and helped me through
it. I owe my second place to them. I’m lucky to have them both in my
Sophomore English teacher Mr. Block reached out to all of his GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) members in an email explaining the contests. It was the first email that he got that specifically asked for student submissions as a part of an official Human Rights Campaign contest.
“It’s good to have them write for an audience,” he said. “and I’m trying to create more experiences like that.”
A few students answered back, one of them being Klarissa. Through a good amount of collaboration, Klarissa crafted an essay that won her the competition.
Interview by: Jesús Jímenez