Students fight for school-wide equality

Students+fight+for+school-wide+equality

A group of students are determined to tear down the divide in this school and ultimately, a generation.

 

“That’s so gay.”

“No homo.”

“He-she.”

 

These words seem harmless, but someone who identifies themselves as a part of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transexual (LGBT) community, might not feel the same way. These simple words can create a hateful environment.

A new club, Gender-Sexuality Alliance, or GSA, will make its debut on campus as an organization pursuing school-wide equality between genders and sexual preferences.

Junior Connor Seymour is the president for this new club with a motivation to create a more LGBT friendly environment for the school.

“I want people to feel like they can be themselves and not have to be closeted,” Seymour said. “I want this school to be more accepting.”

Throughout the past few years, Seymour believes the school has opened up to the idea of welcoming the gay community, however, he thinks bringing GSA to the school could help better educate students on everything LGBT, including the transexual population.

“Gay is acceptable-ish in the teenage mainstream right now because it’s this progressive attitude [towards gay students], that it’s not a bad thing anymore, but trans people are really misunderstood,” said Seymour.

Meetings for GSA club will take place on Wednesdays after school in room 2343. Seymour’s aim for the first few gatherings are to get ideas for goals of GSA’s first year from the students who attend.

“GSA is only as strong as the people in it make it,” Seymour said. “I want to have the people voice ideas and then [we’ll] collaborate.”

Not only is this organization new to the school, but also to Houston. Patrick Bussiere, a chair president of the Houston GSA network and president of Westside High School’s GSA, said GSA made it’s debut in the city this past July.

“The network is like a directory of all the GSAs and works to keep all the GSAs connected,” Bussiere said.

There are established clubs at the school that oppose the idea of a GSA, despite the many students who are for the idea of it. President of Cougars For Christ, Viridiana Gonzalez, does not approve of the LGBT community encouragement, but supports GSA’s motivation for equality.

“We’re not okay with what they [LGBT students] are doing,” Gonzalez said. “[But] it would be awesome if we could contribute together, and do community service together. Despite people’s beliefs, we’re there for them if they need anything.”

However, engaging in activism for the LGBT community in the school is one of GSA’s main goals. Senior Emmaleigh Kercsmar, Chief Social Representative of the school’s GSA, spoke about the district’s definition of No Place for Hate.

“Our school is a No Place for Hate, but it doesn’t really focus on the homosexual part of that,” Kercsmar said. “One of our goals is to try and get that changed.”

Kercsmar also emphasizes the importance of educating the school’s population about LGBT experiences and awareness, something she said GSA will do.

“You have to grab people, you have to educate them, because they don’t understand fully what it means to be an LGBT teen,” she said.

Primarily, the new Gender-Sexuality Alliance club will strive for activism, equality between students regardless of gender and sexuality preferences, and educate people on LGBT experiences themselves.

“[GSA] is not here to talk, we’re here to do,” Kercsmar said. “You don’t have to be gay, you can be as straight as you want to be. Just join because you can.”