Making Progress with the GSA

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Making Progress with the GSA

Jordyn Hronec, Editor-in-Chief

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Chances are, if you’ve been awake for more than 2 minutes during the school day for the past few months, you’ve heard of the GSA. But no matter your opinion, the club is here to stay. And I’m here to dismantle some common misconceptions surrounding the organization.

The idea of a Gay-Straight Alliance is nothing new. Almost every college across the United States has or has had one, and many high schools do as well. And the colleges that don’t, have moved on and decided that it is not needed, because the idea of squashing discrimination may not be an issue on their specific campus. But here at North Hills, we have a very diverse student body, and organizations like this one are meant to lift up and provide support for people who are in need of it.

The GSA is sponsored by Mrs. Perry and Mr. Graziani, who are both extremely passionate about bringing together students who are a part of the LGBTQ+ community and providing students who are used to hiding. with a space where they can truly be themselves.

Sydney Krugle, the president of the GSA, states that, “The idea for the GSA came from a friend of mine, Jarron, who advocated so hard for it. He reached out to me, and our vice president, Theoni, and it became a thing! And it’s meant to simply be a way to support people.”

Gay-Straight Alliances traditionally are meant to be a form of therapy for members. It provides a safe space for students of any and all sexual orientations, where students can share their experiences with one another in hopes that they may find solidarity and comfort in a world that is not necessarily always open to their existence. But here at North Hills, our GSA is going above and beyond, planning fundraisers and events to help LGBTQ+ members and non-members.

Sydney, a junior, says that she’s been trying to start a GSA since her freshman year, but to no avail, until now. Mrs. Perry has been trying to bring kids trgether to form one for three years. “Every year for a long time, it’s been brought up,” Sydney says. “But now we finally have enough interest, as well as two great, passionate sponsors! I have total confidence that throughout the year and into the future, we’ll keep growing stronger.” I also asked her about the club’s plans for this year.

“We want to help people,” she said. “Above all else. And we want to create a safe space and a welcoming environment for everyone, gay, straight, or anywhere in between. We want to do things for people who are in need. And we want to educate people on our causes and what we’re all about.” So far, the club has planned and executed fundraisers so that it can kick off its school year of activities, since it’s a brand new club and has had no prior funds. Their first fundraiser of the year was a contest, where students could pay to guess which teachers’ baby pictures belonged to who during lunch. The GSA also plans to hold fundraisers such as a school-wide Meme Day, where every student can pay just $1 to dress up as their favorite meme. The GSA is currently planning events and efforts to help and uplift anyone and everyone, whether they be gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, or however they so wish to identify. They’re constantly collecting clothing items for students of all genders who may need them, for any reason. And they plan to participate in the Pride Prom that takes place at the Andy Warhol museum for LGBTQ+ teens throughout the Pittsburgh area.

“I want to let people know that we’re not just a special club for gay people,” Sydney told me. “We are open and welcoming to everybody, and we believe that everyone should come and learn what we’re about instead of trying to tear us down. Because we’ll always rise back up.”

The GSA plans to promote the idea of unity and love throughout this school year and beyond. If you would like to join and support this narrative, they encourage you to attend their meetings in the library, after school on Mondays. And if you are unable to attend, then the GSA holds catch-up meetings on Tuesday mornings in the library during homeroom. Also, the GSA plans to roll out a program that they are calling, Gay-Straight Explained, and it’s for students (or staff!) who have questions or may be confused about the club’s intentions. But they ask you, that if you plan to attend, please come with an open mind and kind words. Because the GSA is simply an organization of people helping people, and North Hills should be proud to support and house their efforts.

*This article contains a correction to an earlier version located in the print edition.

 

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Making Progress with the GSA