Getting to know GSA

GSA+Meeting
GSA Meeting

GSA Meeting

Photographer: Zach Vestal

Photographer: Zach Vestal

GSA Meeting

Written by Haley Wyatt, Staff Writer

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[Photographer: Zach Vestal]

Everyone wants to find a special place where they can be truly accepted and comfortable, and for many LTHS students that safe place is GSA (Gay Straight Alliance). GSA is a student organization that meets at East Campus’ Maroon Room every Thursday after school. The club talks about current issues and stories. Advice is also given in a positive place where all members feel comfortable and welcome. Fun games and activities are also integrated into the club. The club has a great balance of a safe and positive environment with an entertaining atmosphere.

The Porter Press was lucky enough to sit in on a meeting this semester, and everyone who came felt the amazing flow of acceptance and love that every member of GSA openly presents to their fellow peers. We asked a few questions to some students and were able to hear first hand the opinions of GSA members and the positive energy the club radiates.

It is no question that GSA has changed the perception of the LGBT+ community at Lockport. Freshman Anna Kunst says, “Most of the teachers are very welcoming of the LGBT community and its youth . . . I am very prideful of being gay and to be a part of the LGBT community.”

Many of the students interviewed had the same response: commending the staff of LTHS for their support of GSA and its members. The vice-president of the club, Emily Lancman, gave her insight on what they view as the true meaning and value of GSA.

“This club represents respect, diversity, and most importantly unity, regardless of beliefs, identities, and other opinions or differences. That’s what people around the world should do. Unite together and accept each other’s differences. That alone can be called love,” says Lancman.

Lancman regards GSA as a beacon of love. When members were asked about pride in Lockport, positive responses were common.

“Pride at Lockport is very strong,” says freshman Mackenzie Bell. “ I know people from other schools who don’t have anything near the accepting community that we have here. People are out and proud, and others support that. I’m proud to be who I am, and GSA only helps me be confident and prideful in myself.”

The majority of students interviewed had a similar response: they find it easy to be comfortable when there is so much love shared with them on a daily basis. However, GSA isn’t looking to stop at spreading positivity and comfort to their students. This year,  LTHS has seen many projects from GSA. One project is the rainbow ribbons on classroom doors that students and staff may have seen walking through the hallways and into classrooms. These ribbons are a sign stating that the given place is a safe space for anyone who needs someone to talk to.

Kunst claims, “So many teachers wanted ribbons that we ran out and had to make more.”

The club has many other plans in the works for spreading even more love and positivity throughout the school environment. When asked why other LTHS students should join GSA, many answered with the same positive response: GSA is different from other clubs because it provides a 100% safe space for anyone needing advice and love.

Lancman says, “What gets me to keep coming back into GSA is the fun we have, the emotions we share, and the help we lend to each other. That’s what makes a worthwhile club to get involved in.”

One sophomore student, who wishes to remain anonymous as CH, states, “What makes me keep on coming back is the friendliness and the acceptance of everyone. We all know each other, and we all try to make every day end happily. [GSA allows] everyone to be who they are in this area. There aren’t people who are defined by name or by born-gender. We accept all and listen to them no matter the situation.”

Many members wanted to make it known how welcomed they feel on a daily basis at GSA. Bell says, “Joining GSA is one of the best things I’ve done, and I will definitely continue going to the club for as long as possible.”

Kunst states that “GSA is the most comfortable place I’ve felt besides my own home.”

It seems clear that regardless of one’s identity, any person willing to respect and listen to others is welcome at the GSA club. GSA sheds light on what can happen when people put forth the effort to support and care for others.

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2 Comments

2 Responses to “Getting to know GSA”

  1. Ms. Fassola on May 9th, 2017 1:23 pm

    Great article. Thanks so much Porter Press!

    [Reply]

  2. Mrs. Musni on May 11th, 2017 7:46 am

    You’re welcome! Thank you for having us at your meetings!

    [Reply]

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