Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is starting after eight or so years. This year, Kelley Lisbony and ReBecca Gardea, finally started the club after an extensive amount of research proving the club would be beneficial to LGBT students. With GSA, LGBT students and heterosexual students can come together to learn from each other and understand each other. GSA is a club meant to bring together high school students. It gives people a place to belong. The club meets every Tuesday in Gardea’s room 2205 on Writer’s Block.
“I have friends who have been bullied. I have friends who hear names being said in the hallway, I hear ‘that’s so gay’ as an insult everyday of my life and it gets to the point where it’s just painful sometimes because this is who you are and it’s being insulted constantly,” GSA President, Kelley Lisbony, said.
Being a part of the LGBT community is difficult as is, but when the threat of harassment or assault at school is a looming threat, a normal day at school can become a big stressor. In a 2017 survey, 33% of LGB students report being bullied on school property and 27.1% report being cyber-bullied. In addition to this, 10% of LGB students report not going to school due to safety concerns.
“We don’t have anything specific in the works yet but we do want to do some sort of service project. Maybe work at the Montrose Center which is the LGBT resource center in Houston. Maybe raise money for things like The Trevor Project which is for transgender students and just work as a group to help the LGBT community as a whole,” Lisbony said.
It’s important to recognize a person for who they are, but it doesn’t make up their whole self. With GSA, all students will be able to be themselves in a safe space and find support within the club. Feeling supported is really important for all students based on mental health and focus in school.
“One of my purposes as a teacher is to support my students. That is what the GSA is—support for students. My hope for the organization is that students will feel welcome and be comfortable being themselves, especially as a teenager experiencing high school,” Gay Straight Alliance Sponsor, ReBecca Gardea, said.
High school is already exhausting, but with GSA it can be a little less hard for teenagers looking for a place to fit in.