GSA club resumes, provides safe spaces and allies

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The GSA, or Gender Sexuality Alliance Club has now returned; the main focus of GSA’s are to provide a safe space for LGBTQ+ kids and their allies at schools.

Forming a GSA Club has been in process for the 2017-2018 school year, as there used to be a GSA Club, and if it was going to be formed again was questionable, and up in the air for for a long time. The club is ran by senior Liv Krusinski, and advised by school nurse Melissa Fischer and includes several students who focus on offering support to the LGBTQ+ community.

This club is important to our school because our world is evolving and the LGBTQ community is beginning to speak up and speak out.”

— Bakagne Ajak

Dale Angulo, sophomore and member of the club said, “The primary objective of the Gender-Sexuality Alliance gives LGBT kids a safe space and validation for our identities. In America’s current political climate, it is important for the queer community to stick together. The 45th president’s administration has us on rocky waters. Protections for transgender students have already been repealed. The GSA club is a parachute, where students know they can stand together and speak up for LGBT rights when our government might not.”

The club includes allies of the community, to help further the emotional support offered by straight, cisgender, white [etc.] people. The official GSA Network explained this alliance in schools: “The goal of a GSA is to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning (LGBTQ) and straight ally youth to meet and discuss sexual orientation and gender identity issues, and to work to create a school environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intolerance.”

Junior Bakagne Ajak said, “This club is important to our school because our world is evolving and the LGBTQ community is beginning to speak up and speak out. Although I am not part of the community, I find it necessary that I show my support for them and that the school does as well. This club shows that our school is recognizing the ┬áchange that is happening in our society and reaching out to LGBTQ members.”

The club is in process of planning activities and events to do within their gatherings.

Angulo said, “The routine of an actual club meetings has not been worked out yet. During gatherings so far, members have discussed ways to sort of raise awareness about the club and the prevalent LGBT community that is in the school. Once we’re on our two feet, we plan to have fundraisers and donate money to LGBT-friendly organizations, such as The Trevor Project, Planned Parenthood, and OutFront Minnesota. Whether that be with bake sales or movie screenings is still undetermined.”

Although the club is similar to other humanitarian clubs in the school such as Feminism Club, Amnesty Club, [etc.], the sole purpose is to focus on members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the club is planning to make that clear.

Angulo said, “The GSA club’s sole focus is on humanitarian issues affecting the LGBT community. Not only that, it also serves a way to help the queer community right in Stillwater. It’s as much a support group as it is a voice for advocates. It is important for students to know that there is a space where they are allowed to be themselves and voice their everyday dilemmas related to their identity.”

Sophomore Clarice Vrambout said, “This club will be helpful for students who don’t have a safe space of their own, because of the accepting environment.”

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