Campus Moves Forward

Sarah Long, Reporter

Wanting to provide a safe and supportive environment for LGBT+ youth, Genders and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) launched on Wednesday, Sept. 18. A national organization with over 3,000 student-led chapters, GSA strives to end discrimination against the queer community by letting LGBT+ students speak out about their challenges. 

“We live in South and gender and sexuality are not really spoken about, especially at Southside, but it has definitely been moving forward in society,” co-founder Kylee Hancock said. 

Anyone can join GSA, regardless of their sexuality or gender identity. A key part of GSA revolves around building an understanding between LGBT+ youth and their straight, cisgender peers. 

“I believe this club is needed because 1/6 of LGBT students consider committing suicide. I think Southside needs to have a support system for students because I’d never want that to happen,” co-founder Hannah Kizer said. 

The club meets before and after school every fourth Wednesday of the month. Topics of discussion include identity and fundraisers. Raised funds go towards the Trevor Project, a national charity focused on suicide prevention among LGBT teens, and senior council. 

“My motivation for sponsoring this club is personal. My uncle was gay and growing up in the 80’s in a small town in Oklahoma was very hard for him. He never felt he could truly be himself out of fear, fear of being ostracized, fear of violence inflicted on him, fear of rejection from him family, and therefore was never able to truly live,” sponsor Chelsea Norris said. 

The club currently consists of forty-four members but hopes for more. 

“I want to help GSA out of respect for my uncle and to help others feel acceptance and love despite their sexual orientation because everyone deserves to actually live and love as they see fit,” Norris said.