Club Feature: Genders & Sexualities Alliance


It’s no secret that many LGBT+ youths often don’t feel safe within their own homes, but some don’t even have a recognizable safe space at all to feel comfortable as a member of the LGBT+ community. With the many pressures of school and finding a welcoming social group, throwing sexuality and gender identity into the mix can be terrifying. GSA was created to help for just this reason.

In 1998, a small youth-driven organization titled the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA), emerged supporting LGBT+ youth through school-driven clubs. GSA has since transformed into a nationally recognized organization that is held throughout countless schools across the nation. Since then, the National Association of GSA Networks has also officially changed their acronym for GSA to Genders & Sexualities Alliance. Their reasoning being to be more inclusive to the rest of the LGBT+ community as we have since “moved beyond the labels of gay and straight, and the limits of a binary gender system.” This name change now better includes people of other identities, such as bisexuality, pansexuality, asexuality, transgender, non-binary, genderfluid, and many more that are all perfectly valid.

GSA, as a whole, has a primary goal of creating safe spaces and communities for LGBT+ youth. When asked how Enloe attempts to achieve this, Ms. Price, the advisor of Enloe’s GSA, says “I give my room as a safe space every Thursday when they meet just to ensure they have a physical safe space. And also, let them know that I’m here […as] an emotional safe space to tell them that they are accepted for who they are and that they are valuable and that their experiences matter.”

GSA’s first priority will always be safety and the inclusivity of its club members; however, GSA also wishes to educate people about other parts of the LGBT+ community aside from just the standard lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender aspects. Most GSA meetings begin with a short presentation about a topic in relation to the LGBT+ community. In the past, GSA has held presentations ranging topics from Lesbian Visability Day to Black LGBT+ icons to self-care. At the end of presentations, club members are free to play games provided by the board members or simply talk and have fun. In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, last week GSA even hosted a dance lesson taught by a fellow club member. As Lindsay Templeton, the Co-President of Enloe’s GSA says, “[GSA’s] priority is to make a safe space for kids to have fun and to feel accepted […] So, if we don’t finish a presentation or if a fun activity takes importance over another structured thing, that is a-okay.” 

In addition to the weekly meetings, GSA also hosts a student-run discord server. From sending funny memes to venting about the frustrations of life, the server is a wonderful place to meet other LGBT+ students and just chat (although it is a bit chaotic). Due to safety reasons, there is not a public link, but if you would like to join, you’re welcome to message Enloe GSA’s Instagram (@enloe_gsa) to ask for a link.

For those who may be timid or on the fence about attending GSA meetings, that is perfectly okay! There is no pressure to join if you feel uncomfortable. When asked about this topic, Ms. Price stated, “My comment to them would be that I understand […]  And that I’m always here for them to talk to whether it is at GSA formally at a club meeting or individually. But my advice for them would be to come to have lunch one day with me, and some of the kids who are in GSA who have lunch in my room most days, and get to know us in an informal scenario so that the GSA meetings might not be as intimidating.” Even if you may still be uncomfortable with joining, know that there is a group of students and teachers that support you and are proud of your journey no matter the direction you take. 

That being said, if you are comfortable, please come join! GSA meets every Thursday after school in Ms. Price’s room (2715). GSA is open to all LGBT+ students and allies, we hope to see you there!