GSA - Gay/Straight Alliance
What is GSA?
The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club that provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, and talk about issues related to sexual orientation, gender identity, and expression. The club members work to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying in the school setting while promoting equality and acceptance. GSA welcomes everyone! Stop by a meeting in Room 202 after school on Fridays.
GSA During COVID/ Quarantine/ Online School
So what are we doing this semester? Well, many people have been feeling isolated during the global pandemic, especially during the quarantine. It can be very difficult to feel connected to friends and family when you're not able to see them in person. First and foremost, this club is a social club to bring people together in a safe, bully-free, harassment-free, and judgment-free environment. Our meetings are a social time to connect with others in a safe space where you can be yourself, time to relax and decompress, and time to discuss self-care and LGBTQ resources that are still available during COVID.
Next, we are also going to develop training for teachers and students to create more welcoming online environments including sharing of and usage of pronouns (he, she, them), creating computer backgrounds/ electronic posters for visual signs supporting LGBTQ students, and anti-bullying strategies on Zoom (especially in breakout rooms) to help all students feel safe online.
We will attend online webinars supporting the LGBTQ community, attend virtual GSA meet-ups from across the country, and have guest speakers come to our Zoom meetings. Some of the topics we will discuss include how to talk to your friends and family about your identity, avoiding online predators, seeking counseling/ mental health resources for yourself and friends, staying safe, and getting involved with advocacy for equal rights, social justice, and community outreach.
There are 3 functions of our club:
- Support: We serve as a support group and provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identity as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or questioning or those who are experiencing harassment at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. We provide a safe space for students to express themselves.
- Social: We are a social group. We provide a sense of community and a space for LGBTQ and straight ally youth to build a social network where their identity is respected. We aim to build community and lessen the isolation that LGBTQ students sometimes experience.
- Advocacy: We advocate for change. We promote awareness and acceptance of people's right to choose for themselves how they want to express their identity and who they choose to love.
- Homecoming hallway decoration competition
- Advocacy, community service, and training
- Yearly field trip to Elmhurst College for "The Big Queer Gathering"
- Honor the Day of Silence & participate in the Day of Love
- Movie nights
- Guest speakers
- Webinars/ Global meetings
- Social events with other GSA clubs
- Order t-shirts and other fun stuff
Meetings & More Information:
- We meet every other Thursday in Room 202 when we are back in school, otherwise, we'll meet in Zoom. The link to our Zoom meetings is in the GSA Google Classroom.
- Google Classroom code: TJNDUCH
- Remind: @f27884 to number 81010 like in the picture to the right
- See Ms. Caine in Room 202 for more information or email her at Sheri.Caine@chsd218.org.