What even is the GSA? It seems that only a small handful of people know what the acronym stands for, but WCI’s small-but-mighty club is working hard to change that. In the last two years, the club has grown both in membership and enthusiasm, leaving its mark of positivity all over the school.
The GSA’s primary purpose is to be a safe and welcoming space for everyone at WCI, particularly students who identify with or want to support the LGBTQ+ community. The club even underwent a name change this year to reflect this mission; what was once the Gay-Straight Alliance is now the Gender and Sexuality Awareness club. It’s just a little more inclusive to those who identify as anything other than gay or straight.
The GSA meets every Wednesday at lunch, in room 215. Now, a big question for prospective members is: what actually goes on at GSA meetings? The short answer is, a lot of fun. When they’re not busy planning a project or event, they talk about life and current events, play Kahoots, and occasionally do some crafts. Last week, Ms. Crowell and Ms. Kennedy arrived at the meeting toting armfuls of rainbow-themed snacks. Overall, the atmosphere is always a positive one.
Another highlight of GSA meetings? The guest speakers! Last year, the GSA welcomed Jenna and Alison, a married couple who shared their story, from growing up gay to navigating the world of love and relationships. And it would be impossible to forget WCI’s own Mr. Bartholomew-Poyser, who spoke to the club about his experience as a black, openly gay man in the world of music.
True to the mission of the club, the GSA is always looking for ways to make WCI a more welcoming place. Last year, they printed safe space posters in 3 different languages, giving teachers a way to show support for their LGBTQ+ students. However, the GSA’s most notable initiative to date was Pride Week 2019. After months of planning, GSA members turned the first week of June into a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. They plastered the Guidance hallway with a massive rainbow of paper hearts; they sold rainbow popcorn; they even organized a fun fair to kick off the week. With the help of rainbow face paint, button-making, and some free juice, the event attracted a record-breaking crowd for the rainbow flag-raising ceremony.
Sounds interesting, right? If you still have questions about the club, have a look at the FAQ below:
Who runs the GSA?
In addition to student leaders, there couldn’t be a better team of teachers running the GSA: Ms. Kennedy, Ms. Crowell, and Ms. Jackman are all super chill and fun to be around.
I want to join the GSA, but I’m not gay!
Here’s the good news: you don’t have to be gay to join the GSA. In fact, no one in the club will ever ask you to disclose your sexuality to anyone. We accept everyone, regardless of how they identify or who they love. That’s what we’re all about.
But what if people think I’m gay?
If you’re straight: well, you’re not gay, so you’ve got nothing to worry about. If you’re closeted and worried that this will clue people in: I’ve been there. You’d be surprised how little people actually care, and if you’re struggling to find a place where you feel welcome, the GSA is definitely where you want to be.
I came to GSA one time, but I stopped attending meetings and now I’m afraid to come back.
To be honest with you, we rejoice when someone returns to the club after being away for a few weeks. The more the merrier. This club is relaxed, it’s not a strict commitment; you’re welcome to come and go as you please, as your schedule allows you.
In summary, the GSA is the place for you if you want to meet new people, have some snacks, and make our school a more welcoming place. Every Wednesday at lunch, in room 215. Come check it out, and you may want to stick around and be a part of a little bit of positive change here at WCI.