The Gay Straight Alliance is an on-campus group which promotes tolerance not only for kids who identify as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer, but for everyone. It is made up of LGBTQ kids and straight kids.
President: Sarah Merrill
Vice-President: Becca Lee
Secretary: Julia Moore
Faculty Advisor: Mr. Chuoke
In the Fall of 2012 we sponsored Ally Week, during which teachers and students could purchase links in the "Ally Chain," and supportive teachers could wear "Ally" buttons. An Ally is someone who does not identify as LGBTQ but is supportive of individuals who do. Importantly, an Ally is someone who will stand up for kids who are being teased, bullied, or harassed.
We watched the documentary Before Stonewall, which gives a fascinating perspective on the long struggle for gay rights. Beginning with a time when LGBTQ individuals did not think of themselves as deserving the same rights as everyone else, the film follows the development of the Gay community in America as people gradually came to understand that their civil rights were being violated. It ends with the galvanizing Stonewall Riot, which this year, for the first time ever, was mentioned by a sitting U. S. President when Barack Obama spoke of it in his second inaugural.
We also did a bake sale fundraiser, and we used our funds to attend the True Colors Conference at UCONN. This is always the high point of the year. It can be a powerful experience for students as well as staff, and there is much to be learned at the many excellent workshops offered there. Essentially it is a celebration of LGBTQ culture, a joyous event at which thousands of kids from high schools across the state find that they are indeed not alone!
Finally, we sponsored a Day of Silence in early May. The National Day of Silence was held during our April break, so we decided to do our own Day of Silence. It was great success, with more than seventy-five students participating and showing their support by wearing purple lanyards with a card attached on which they could right a statement of support.
Members of the GSA also presented at a conference on bullying sponsored by The Hyde School. Our presenters were, by all accounts, the best of the conference, and they were very proud of their work. Next year we'll be helping to plan the conference as well as presenting again.