GSA, also known as the gay straight alliance, is a student driven club, held every other Wednesday, in S106, is about students who consider themselves as a part of the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) community, and people who consider themselves straight to come together and support one another. The main purpose of the club is to educate about the misinformation the world has on the LGBT community to make our school community understand these issues, in order to have an environment to fight against homophobia, and have others be non-judgemental towards one another.
GSA has four Presidents this year who are seniors, Elizabeth Zembrowski, Drew Souza, Rawan Elshamsy, and Daniella Portal, as well as the adult representative, and guidance counselor Miss Seufert. GSA, is an interesting club because of the history it’s has, “Ever since it started. A few students approached me in my first year at EHHS with a petition that was signed by over 400 students and staff, requesting that a GSA be created at EHHS. I approached the principal at the time, Dr. Smith and he brought it to the Board of Ed. They were afraid of backlash, so they said we could have a club, but that we would have to call ourselves the ‘Rainbow Club’. Our students refused to pretend we were anything other than what we are, so we are officially the Gay-Straight Alliance.”, says Miss Seufert. GSA has been around for 12 years, and people have fought for it to have the name and reputation it has today, due to the pride our community has.
Activities that take place within the club is, awareness raising, like the Day of Silence, which is a pledge students sign up for during lunches to stay quiet for the school day, as symbol of standing up to bullying and hate towards the LGBT community. Sometimes, student run workshops occur for diversity week to educate other students about what a healthy and unhealthy relationship is, what words are offensive and how it may affect others, and when possible, guest speakers from the LGBT community sharing their story. The the most popular activity in GSA is the True Colors conference at UCONN, which educates GSA members further on the LGBT community with various workshops. The information that the GSA members got from these workshops are what inspired them to create some of the workshops during diversity week. These activities not only spread awareness of the LGBT community, but it’s a learning experience for yourself and your community. It also gives a whole new perspective that can give you more wisdom in life and be more open to different types of people and their perspectives.
GSA is also filled with open, down to earth people, which is likely to make students feel, “I think students like GSA because it is a safe environment, and I think the students return because we bond together over time and learn about each other.” says Elizabeth Zembrowski. Zembrowski has been a member of GSA for 3 years because, “I’ve always been supportive of the LGBT community, and part of it.” she says. This is the reason that Zembrowski returns to GSA, a majority of its members have a lot in common.The unity all the members present is a beautiful movement that brings our school further into complete unity and have less hate for one another.
If you want to join a club, then join a club with people who care for one another. In GSA, it’s certain that all its members have a good time, laugh together, and feel more comfortable being in their own skin and being around others. Not only will you bond with one another, but events like true colors will give you a new perspective and outlook about the LGBT community, and help in being more understanding of others and being more open with other people. Or if you are struggling to come out as part of the LGBT community, it’s a good opportunity to come to a meeting and slowly get out of your shell and come out to other caring and nonjudgmental people who will help you completely get out of the closet. Due to the positivity within GSA and its purpose, I believe GSA is a club worth looking into.