Gay / Straight Alliances are just that: a group of people of any sexual orientation or gender identity who come together for support, education and socializing. They are also a great way for GLBT, and like-minded students to meet people and make friends.
I had a chance to interview the President of one chapter, 19-year old Sabrina who attends Suffolk County Community College in New York.
Was there a GSA at your school before you became involved?
Yes, there was a GSA before I became involved. Though it was very dry. There really wasn't any spirit put in it. I hated to see that happen since gay, bi, transgender people are all over.
What was most important was that we got people who are straight to join us, so they understand what we go through on a daily basis.
What has the reaction to the GSA been like from the school administration?
There has been one teacher...who was [against] the whole thing. But since she was called out on it to other staff, she has stopped [opposing us]...so far.
I have some teachers who are actually in the club.
What has the reaction been like from the other students?
There are a lot of students who call people names and rip down the posters and make their comments. All I do is just hang them back up. A lot of people in the club get upset by the people who just don't understand. But I feel they could be worse.
What kind of events or activities have you held?
I held a social hour where would hang out and watch a movie, play twister, eat and drink.
We had a health month in March, and now we are having gay awareness month, and in May we plan to have a gay prom.
What has been the most challenging aspect of running your GSA or being a part of it?
I think the most changeling parts have been the financial [situation], and the rude remarks you get. Other than that, we are here to stay!
Interested in starting a club of your own? There's more info on this site about how to start a GSA.