All The 'Buzz:' SAGA, Kupferberg Ready For Masquerade Ball
One day last Spring, their hair was long, running all the way down the middle of their back and below their waist, as it had since early childhood.
The next day, junior Alex Kupferberg had a buzzcut. Military style. With blue dye and cloud shapes.
“Go big or go home…or actually, go short or go home,” Kupferberg said with a laugh, acknowledging the dramatic change to their longtime hairstyle that occurred in a matter of minutes.
“It was a shock to a lot of people, including my parents, and maybe even to me a little, too,” Kupferberg said. “But then I was like, ‘No, it was time.’ So, that’s why I did it.”
Likewise, Kupferberg, who says that their hair now "is long," compared to their "buzzcut days," was ready for another big change, another deep dive, this year.
Just a year ago, they was immersed in their classes, no time for clubs or extracurriculars. In fact, they had never before been a part of a club at Stevenson.
But since the beginning of this year, they has been passionately involved in Stevenson’s Sexuality And Gender Alliance (SAGA) club, so much so that they are feverishly helping with the club’s big Masquerade Dance scheduled for TOMORROW NIGHT (7 p.m. to 10 p.m.) in the Lower Glass Commons…and they is also in line to become president of the club next year.
“I do tend to jump into things,” Kupferberg said. “And when I jump in, I go all in. I remember hearing about SAGA for the first time and thinking, ‘Oh, that sounds like my place, something I would be interested in.’ This was my first club at Stevenson, and I went all in for the first thing.”
The process of “coming out” for Kupferberg was a little more deliberate, though. They was just a seventh grader, and started having questions. A lot of questions about themself, and about how they fit in, and about what they were and how they saw themself.
But after some careful thought and introspection, Kupferberg fully committed to their decision, told their family that they was gay (and in the last year, non-binary) and has never looked back.
“I am so lucky to have parents and family and siblings that accept me, Kupferberg said. “I’ve been out to them for a very long time now. I would tell other kids not to feel pressure to come out. It’s not your responsibility to explain yourself or who you are to anyone else. I just wanted to. I wanted to tell my family about it, and they’ve all been amazingly supportive about it. I love them all the more for it.”
Kupferberg knows that not every person their age who might be in a similar situation is quite so fortunate, which is why they feels so grateful that Stevenson has committed to fully supporting a club such as SAGA.
“The majority of the people in our club are not out,” Kupferberg said. “It’s a safe space that we provide for those who aren’t…and who are…out. I love that everyone is so inclusive and open and shows support for each other. No matter the situation, it’s unconditional. And it’s also cool to be part of something bigger than yourself that is allied around a cause of a safe space.”
The SAGA Club has regular meetings on campus, and usually 10 to 15 students attend.
“Sometimes our meetings are about planning big events, like our dance or a clothing drive or us being in a Pride Parade (pictured left),” Kupferberg said. “But sometimes, we just hang out. Maybe we talk about current events, laws that have been passed. We might share stories of our week and if there is a problem that arises, we help whoever that is. We embrace that, because a lot of kids aren’t out and they don’t feel safe and honestly, that’s a big reason this club exists…to provide support to kids who feel like they don’t have it.”
Lately, SAGA has been laser-focused on the planning of the Masquerade Ball. The club will be painting the windows of the Lower Glass Commons in Masquerade themes. And many of the members are excitedly curating their outfits and costumes.
“There will be a lot of kids in costumes or gowns or something fancy,” Kupferberger said. “I’m going to dress up in costume…probably a long skirt and loose blouse with a cape. I’m going to have a mask that will be gold and black to go with the theme colors of our dance. Feathers, too, of course.”
SAGA is expecting that more than 100 people will attend the Masquerade Ball, which is open to all Stevenson students.
“It’s going to be a lot more people than previous years because it’s not just for our members, it’s for allies, too, and I think a lot of people want to come,” Kupferberg said. “The dance is a really good gathering for all the people who are involved or who want to be involved. It’s a celebration and a way to show support.”