GSA expanding their representation

GSA+expanding+their+representation

Reilly Card and Valerie Walls

The GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) is a student-run after school club that brings LGBT+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, etc.) people and allies together to support each other, provide a safe place to socialize. West Bloomfield’s GSA is committed to creating a safe space for all students, straight or otherwise, and the comfort and security of members is a priority.

The discussion of being represented in literature is an important one to have. It can be overwhelming and discouraging when a group has limited representation in media. By giving each other access to title, authors and showing videos the GSA was able to show each other during a recent meeting the different forms of representation that do exist that embody them.

The students on the LGBT+ lit committee all gave short presentations on their choice of (not a slur) authors, poets, or novels. Senior Dunia Zawideh performed a slam poetry piece by Denice Frohman titled “Dear Straight People.” Junior Waverly Eubank shared a video of Ashley Mardell reciting her slam poem “Learning to be Ugly” and talked about some LGBT+ authors whose sexualities were erased. Valerie Walls also gave a presentation in which she spoke about some LGBT+ young adult novels and and shared a few of her own poems, LGBTQ(A?) and They.

Books where LGBT+ is represented that were discussed by the GSA lit committee are as follows

GSA recommended reading list

During Spirit week GSA showed their involvement by painting windows around the school adding to the inclusive feel of the week.

The GSA, moving forwards to help strengthen WBHS, invited GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) educators to hold a volunteer seminar for West Bloomfield staff . GLSEN helps educate and create new research and resources for education on LGBT issues. Over 60 members of WBHS staff attended after school giving up their time; they were educated about what it means to create a safe space for their students. Later in the year he GSA will again this spring be holding the Day of Silence at our school. The following is on the GLSEN website.

Day of Silence (April 15, 2016)

“Silence can create change!

That’s why every year hundreds of thousands of students across the world take a vow of silence on a Friday in April. This quiet but powerful, student-led action raises awareness about the silencing effect of anti-LGBT bullying, harassment and discrimination.

Anyone can organize a Day of Silence activity or event, and it can be a powerful way to band together and take a stand. Learn more about how to register, organize, what your rights are, and what to do if those rights aren’t being respected.

Strength in numbers. Solidarity in silence.”

 

GSA is representing its students and showing them they are represented creating a space from them here in WBHS. Between supporting each other, teaching  staff on how to be a support, and involving the students; the GSA is making an impact on the school. Creating a better future for the community.