We’re Queer, We’re Out of Here!

GSA says goodbye to two influential seniors

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TIMG_1616he Gay Straight Alliance club (GSA) is sadly saying goodbye to two of their most valuable members; seniors Samantha Oldenburg and John (Jack) Brenner. The West Bloomfield High School (WBHS) Spectrum staff got a chance to speak to Jack Brenner, a WBHS GSA Member and Senior. Spectrum asked Brenner what his proudest moment was, his response was, “My proudest GSA moment was our organization of the Day Of Silence, we had a really big group come together to make it possible, over the course of the year we helped spread relevant information about LGBTQA+ related issues and promote acceptance through events such as The Day Of Silence.” The GSA has accomplished a lot this year, inside and outside the club. When speaking to teacher and advisor Jennifer McQuillan she tells us about the astronomical growth of the club, “we began with 3 members and expanded to 25!”
The GSA brought so much awareness to our school. Regarding Day of Silence, senior member Samantha Oldenburg tells us “We kept the traditional practice, but also supported LGBTQA+ students who wanted to be loud. We had students do speeches in classes about awareness and support. It was a lot more powerful than silence alone.”

The club focuses on creating change to bring about a more accepting community. Brenner says “I am hoping that in the future the motives of the club will become less relevant as our youth become more and more accepting of people from all scores of life, whether that be differing political views, religious beliefs, sexualities, genders, etc.”  This can also be taken as a summary of the objectives of the club. Samantha also added, “I hope that in the future there will be more cooperation and discussion with the administration to make school a more inclusive and safe space for students.”
Despite losing these two wonderful seniors, the GSA will continue to offer a safe environment for not only LGBTQA+ students, but any students that wish to attend.  Brenner and Oldenburg contributed a great amount of positivity and their powerful voices to the club. They will be dearly missed in GSA, but their efforts will carry on. Teachers and advisors Stephen Toy and McQuillan,  leave the seniors with these words, “The courage, strength and compassion you have shown throughout this year will continue to shine through in all of your pursuits. Be a beacon for those in the community who are struggling to find their way!”