Ava Seccuro staff writer
The Gender Sexuality Alliance club (GSA) hopes to reach out to LGBTQ+ youth on our campus, and create a haven where they are free to talk about anything regarding their sexuality or gender identity and where they can find people whom they can relate to.
The GSA was formerly known as Gay-Straight Alliance, however, there are multiple students that don’t fall under the categories of either straight or gay because the LGBTQ+ spectrum is so varied. The club exists in many places around the nation for students to discuss sexuality and gender-identity related issues or questions, and despite being for LGBTQ+ students, it’s open to anyone who would want to show their support or help the community.
Club sponsor and STEM teacher Marla Weiss, is “strictly” the sponsor and opens up her classroom for meetings, however, GSA is a student-focused, run and led club like all clubs on campus.
Despite having limited involvement in the GSA, Weiss still has opinions on how the club should help students and how it will impact the community.
“I think every high school campus should have a GSA,” Weiss said. “I think that LGBTQ youth are being accepted more readily, but you still want to give all kids a safe space…hopefully they will educate the school community more or do some positive things in the club.”
An anonymous source in GSA wants to make sure that the club is a judgment-free space that students can be themselves in and know that just doing that is enough.
“I’m hoping we can create a community where everyone can feel like they belong and they’re valid for just for being themselves,” they said. “There are so many places where you’ll find people who just want to put you down for being a certain way, and not many people are lucky enough to have a space where they can be themselves and not be judged for it.”
The source, a member of the LGBTQ+ community, brings personal experience to the table and yearns to give students the support that they need to feel comfortable with their sexuality.
“As a gay kid in a more conservative house, even harder, a house with parents I’m not yet out to, I’ve had my fair share of uncomfortable conversations with my parents [when they] say something homophobic or that makes me feel like I was doing something wrong by being myself,” they said. “I want to help people who have felt that pain before, and by being a part of a community that will give them the love and support they might not be getting from other people, I can help to give them that.”
This is co-president senior Lara Pastor’s first year in a leadership position in GSA. As an LGBTQ+ youth herself, she hopes to expand the club and spread positivity among students.
“I look forward to making everyone feel loved, safe and accepted as well as spread that acceptance around the school. This year is my first as a leader in the club, and I really believe we can make it much bigger and provide resources to anyone who needs it,” Pastor said. “This year, I am trying to make sure everyone has the [means] to stay as happy and healthy as possible.”
For the time being, Pastor wants to continue focusing on the original goal of GSA, but in the future, she would like to expand the influence of the club to other parts of Los Angeles.
“As of right now, our plans are to make sure that students of any gender and sexual orientation are able to find an accepting community,” Pastor said. “Our main purpose is to make sure students are confident in themselves and healthy. In the future. [Later], we would like to extend the club to participate in volunteering for LGBTQ+ events around LA.”
Club meetings are on Tuesdays at lunch in room S311.