Why I Joined My School’s GSA
February 5, 2014
February 5th is Gay–Straight Alliance Day! This year, celebrate by becoming a member of your school’s GSA or by creating your own. Gay-straight alliances (GSAs) are student-run organizations that work to improve schools for all students regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Just last year, thanks to fellow student Brian Healy, my school finally started a GSA and joined more than 4,000 other ones across the country. The purpose of our organization is twofold: to discuss current events and topics related to LGBTQ issues and to provide LGBTQ teens with a comfortable environment where they can feel free to express themselves. “There are people who don’t speak much in their classes that are more expressive in GSA, so it definitely has made itself useful as a safe space,” Brian says.
As a member of the GSA at my school, people always ask me why I participate if I’m not an LGBTQ teen. Well, a GSA would be incomplete without the alliance between gay and heterosexual students. Allies play an important part in making their schools safe, and you don’t have to be gay to fight for marriage equality or against homophobia. Allies in my school’s GSA, and in many others, unite the student body by partnering with LGBT students to make sure our schools are safe for everyone.
To those who are looking to start their own GSA, Brian has some advice:
“It’s actually easy forming one, the harder part is keeping it together. You have to keep it interesting and have a good idea what you are talking about. Also, as cheesy as it may sound, make sure you have fun!”