Club Profile: Gay Straight Alliance (GSA)
by Angie Hastings
This year, the Gay-Straight Alliance truly hit its stride. Under the leadership of faculty advisor Mr. Marx and president Catherine Conley, the GSA has become extremely successful. With upwards of thirty members altogether, the GSA is becoming more prevalent than ever before. Each meeting brings in more and more new faces as well as many old ones, creating an accepting community within Braintree High School that allows students to feel safe and speak their minds without being judged.
By now, we’ve all heard the announcements inviting one and all to join the GSA or just stop by an upcoming meeting, but much of the school still is unaware of what goes on at these meetings. To be honest, each meeting is different and there is no simple summary of what GSA does as a club overall. The first few meetings involved introductions, where members got to know each other. Another meeting focused on the history behind gay rights movements. In one meeting, a movie about a school starting their own GSA was showcased. Some meetings are simply used to discuss acceptance and other social issues found in today’s society.
Regardless of the meeting’s contents, the Gay-Straight Alliance is an organization that brings together students from all different walks of life. Students that may have never met otherwise are given a chance to get to know one another, and speak openly with each other about serious issues. As president Catherine Conley puts it, “We are trying to create a safe environment in our school that will provide a support system for students and allow them to openly discuss controversial issues like homophobia harassment and discrimination. The club also serves as a vehicle to raise awareness of LGBTQ issues in our school and community.”
The GSA is different from other clubs in that it breaks all barriers between students. Students of all ages and social groups can speak with one another about important issues. While the GSA focuses largely on issues regarding homophobia and gay rights, it is also a safe place for students to discuss any issue whether it be bullying or hateful language of any kind. Students are encouraged to participate in discussions and speak their minds. Anyone is welcome to share their thoughts, and GSA is completely void of judgment.
With such a diverse group of students involved, the Braintree High School Gay-Straight Alliance has been able to thrive and grow to be a strong group of compassionate and caring students, and though the school year is entering its final term, students are still encouraged to join. (Don’t worry, when the GSA has its next meeting, you’ll know; the announcements will make sure of it.) With its increasingly prevalent presence, the GSA will continue to spread acceptance throughout BHS for years to come.
Angie Hastings is a student in Advanced Placement English Language and Composition