West G. Junior Promotes PRIDE

Misterka Speaks at Rally in Chardon


Jayden Thompson, Staff Writer

On June 18th, 2022, West Geauga junior, Quinn Misterka, was the keynote speaker at Geauga County’s first-ever PRIDE event. At this event, people from all across Northeast Ohio came and simply celebrated who they are as members of the LGBTQIA+ community. Others came just to show they were allies and supportive of the movement, while still others informed everyone as to the importance of PRIDE.

It was May of that year when Quinn learned about the event from her mother. The information her mother sent her stated that they were looking for volunteers, so she decided to send an email. She told them about West G’s GSA (gay-straight alliance club) and they requested that she speak about it at the event. She then started to prepare. Her process was quite simple: “I just threw words at it until I thought it was something good,” she said.

On the day of the event, Quinn was quite nervous. “I was shaking really bad,” she said, but this did not stop her from giving an amazing speech. “My situation is lucky; I have supportive parents and friends, and most of my teachers are supportive as well. I get the opportunity to live in a county that is growing and expanding its education, at least trying to change its views,” she read aloud on the day of the rally. 

A little bit after her speech, Quinn was able to cut the ribbon for Geauga County’s first event, but she wasn’t alone. Along with long-time activist, Brynna Fish and former Ohio Supreme Court Justice O’Neill, as well as others, Quinn cut the ribbon, starting a new chapter for Geauga County. 

After hearing her speech, about 10 to15 people came up to Quinn and complimented her on the speech. Within her speech, Quinn said, “Having the GSA not only is helpful for expanding knowledge, [but] it is also helpful in showing the kids in our district that we do care deeply for all people, regardless of what they identify as.”

Lines like these really caught the attention of House of Representatives candidate, Mr. Matt Kilboy. According to Quinn, he told her how it was great that young people are stepping into the public image for causes they care about!

Since June, Quinn has continued to pioneer as an activist, speaking out at other events like one for National Coming Out day. Quinn plans to return to the Chardon Square gazebo next year, even better, to continue to fight for what she truly believes in.