This is an article I wrote for a different website a few years ago. It provides a little more detail on my high school’s Gay-Straight Alliance. It’s also kinda cute because I was like sixteen when I wrote it. I thought I was straight back then! ^.^
“Everybody’s journey is individual,” says author James Baldwin.“If you fall in love with a boy, you fall in love with a boy. The fact that many Americans consider it a disease says more about them than it does about homosexuality.” His perception is exactly right: homophobia only exists due to a lack of understanding of how homosexuals think and live. The only way to right this wrong and allow gays and lesbians to live freely in our society is to educate people on what being gay really means, instead of letting the stereotypes persist. Gay-Straight Alliances like ours—local pro-gay rights organizations centered around youth—have volunteered for the tough task of educating students on what being gay really means. Also known as GSAs, their goal is to make the school community safe and welcoming for every student, regardless of their gender identity or their sexual preferences. To many teenagers, who get bullied or harassed for their sexual orientation or are misunderstood because of it, the mission of the GSA is vital.
Now I am an active member of my school’s GSA, but my first experience of it came when I was a lot less mature than I am now. The elementary- and middle-school String Orchestras play their concerts at our high school, which is the only building with a stage large enough to hold all of us squirming little twerps and our cellos. In the music room that we used as a coat-room, my friends and I spotted a poster advertising the Gay-Straight Alliance for any student interested. We pointed and giggled and stared, wondering what such a club could possibly do during its meetings. Gay orgies seemed the most likely possibility, but we also discussed anarchist plots to make Elton John president and parties in which they painted the surface of their bodies rainbow and then streaked around the school. That was a temporary amusement, however, and with the exception of a gym teacher we dubbed a “lesbo,” the issue was mostly forgotten by the time we entered high-school. Continue reading