Setting the Story Gay-Straight

Sarah Plaxco, Contributing Writer

When the morning announcements announce that the Gay-Straight Alliance will be meeting, there’s no covering up the whispers and rumors that begin to circle the classroom. While some still consider it a controversial club, students who participate in the TMHS Gay-Straight Alliance know that the focus of the club is educating students.

“At a typical GSA meeting, members go to Mrs. Calkin’s art room and listen to a presentation by one of the officers about gender or sexuality,” GSA president Kimberly Wilson said. “Members then discuss the topic and answer any questions. If we have time, a second presentation is shared, or members talk about current issues in the world and in our community.”

The goal of GSA is to provide lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) kids with a safe space to learn about different gender and sexuality spectrums, the rights of LGBTQ kids in school, and current issues and popular misconceptions that affect them.

“It was difficult at first,” GSA treasurer Kaitlin Mabury said. “Some students tore down the posters we hung up around school, and some kids came for the food, but once they found out what the club was about, never came back.”

Now that GSA has been at TMHS for almost two years, it has gained much of the acceptance and respect that other clubs enjoy, but still has barriers to break.

“My vision for this club is that it will be run by dedicated students who aren’t afraid to face the challenges that come with running a Gay-Straight Alliance,” Mabury said. “I also hope it will be a welcoming and educational place for people from all sorts of backgrounds, sexualities, and genders.”

The American Civil Liberties Union will be at the next GSA meeting. The ACLU is a nonprofit organization whose mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” (Wikipedia) The club’s sponsor, Samantha Calkins, hopes that the ACLU will be able to further educate members about continuing to develop the school’s GSA and get involved with other GSA clubs in the area.

GSA meets about once a month, and the ACLU will be joining them at the next meeting on April 12.