Gay Straight Alliance

Macy Henderson, Editor

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Clubs are a great way to stay active in your school community. At VHS one of our newest clubs is the GSA, the gay-straight alliance.

The GSA is at the school to “promote tolerance and inclusiveness while also serving the community through service projects, which we will be doing throughout the year,” said founder of the GSA, sophomore, Jaleigha Dunlap.

Jaleigha gave many reasons as to why she felt the need to start the after school club.

“To create just an overall supportive environment where anyone regardless of sexuality, gender, race, anything can be accepted,” said Jaleigha

Jaleigha believes this club will help students around the school feel open and comfortable with themselves. The club is not only beneficial and empowering for the founder but also for the dozens of members in the club

“LGBTQ students will be helped because even if they don’t join the club they’ll know that it’s there and it will make them feel more comfortable,” said senior member, Abigail Hicks.

Abigail went on to explain how she went to a middle school that provided a GSA. when coming to the charter school, she said she felt “ostracized” l but knowing they had a GSA made her feel better.
Jaleigha said this is the why she wanted to start the club, so that all students feel included and accepted by their peers. While the mission of the GSA is to promote tolerance and inclusiveness, it also has many variations depending on what students believe the GSA represents.

“For me, it represents an open space where people will be supported, regardless of any factors they might feel isolated for. Essentially it is just a supportive group of people that are willing to have open discussions, while also respecting each other,” club founder, Jaleigha explained.

Abigail agrees with Jaleigha and adds that the GSA is a great outlet of support that students should get involved with.

“There are friends out there who will support you, so maybe you don’t have the most supportive friends now and sometimes it’s kind of hard to break away from that,” said Abigail, “but there are people who will support you and GSA is a great place to find those people.”

The club meets on Wednesdays in the choir room. Jaleigha said if there’s one thing she wants students to learn from this club, it’s to stay positive.

“One of the main things throughout everything you may face, during high school, during life, during college, just overall, is to not let it get to you personally,” said Jaleigha. “A lot of times what people may say is a reflection of how they are, it’s not really how you are. Just remember that you are always loved and supported.”

If you have any further questions about the GSA please feel free to contact Jaleigha Dunlap, [email protected]