Christian Zsilavetz, who happens to be a transgender teacher himself, is the founder of the school and says he wants to build it up similarly to Harvey Milk High in New York:
"Kids have full permission to be themselves — as well as educators. Where there's no wondering, ‘Is this teacher going to be a person for me to be myself with?'. This is a place where they can just open up and be the best person they can be.
When [LGBT] kids can see you, when they know that they can come to you, they're less likely to die, for one. They're less likely to get pregnant, when they don't really want to get pregnant. They're less likely to get into drugs and alcohol and into depression."
What inspiring news!
While Pride won't be the very first LGBT-friendly institution, it will be the first of its kind in the Southern half of the United States.
Ross Murray of GLAAD also commented on the groundbreaking news, saying:
"There're a number of kids who come from the South, migrating to places like New York and other cities because they feel like it's more tolerant for them. They should be able to stay in their homes, their communities. I think having a school like this in Atlanta means it's much more regionally connected. If a student does need a place where they can be safe from bullying, from peers who want to harass or harm them, they're not going to have to travel tons of distance to do that."
Pride School will be based out of the Unitarian Universalist Congregation building in the ATL until it raises enough money thanks to the $13,000 tuition to build a school of its own. (But don't worry, there's financial assistance available if you're interested.)
We're just glad more young people will be able to get an education in a comfortable environment!