GSA: Guiding, Supporting, and Allies

Mallory Priest, Athletic's Editor

The GSA, Gay Straight Alliance, is a student run club for everyone to feel loved, welcomed, and respected. There is talk about changing the name to Gender Sexuality Alliance, and everyone is still welcome. They meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 1:30-2:30 in Room 318, and hang out, play games, and make friends. The club was created as a way for kids to express themselves and feel safe. Hopefully, it will stay at Shadow, so all future classes have a place to go to be free and true to themselves.

Elizabeth Larason, Charlotte Larason, Adam Conboy, and Summer Conboy at a GSA meeting. (Photo Courtesy of: Charlotte Larason)

The unofficial-official President, Charlotte Larason, junior, has nothing but good things to say about the GSA environment. Last year during Covid, they had meetings online and had about 15-20 students join. This year the turnout has decreased to about 10-15 students. They’re always looking for more people to join and hang out. 

“My favorite part of GSA is that I can fully be myself around people who won’t judge me for who I am, and that we can all feel safe to be who we are,” states Larason. 

Room 318 is a place of kindness and a community where students can meet people who will treat them with respect. Unlike most clubs at Shadow, there is only one requirement to join, and that is to show up. Feeling the love and support from those around, is rewarding for all involved. 

My classroom is a safe place for all students to come and be themselves without judgement,” said Ms. Brackney, the GSA advisor.

My classroom is a safe place for all students to come and be themselves without judgement,

— Ms. Brackney

Having a place for people to go to where they can express themselves freely and judgement free, is what every student needs when they are struggling with mental health, self-identity, or self-respect. Having the hope that everything is going to be OK, is the reassurance that most students need. 

“I want people to take the hope that GSA can give. For kids who can’t be themselves in school or at home, they can feel free and be themselves in a safe environment with people who care when they’re at GSA,” explains Larason. 

Overall, the Gay Straight Alliance is loving, kind, and respectful place for students of all genders and sexualities. Students are becoming more aware of themselves, and that can be challenging, but having a safe place to go to ask questions and meet people who have been through similar situations is comforting.