By: Ruby Diaz
Do you know what GSA stands for at Lindblom? It has another meaning other than what most of us are used to hearing, which is Gay Straight Alliance. Lindblom students decided to give the abbreviation GSA a new meaning, Genders & Sexualities Alliance. This club works to promote acceptance of the LGBTQ+ student body through advocacy and outreach. GSA helps support friends regardless of sexuality or gender identity. GSA provides a loving and caring space, which helps to educate and support those who are unsure about their identities.
Member Ciara Morton said, “I feel as though our GSA club is amazing because it gives members of the LGBTQ+ community a safe place to speak their minds and talk to others.”
“One thing I love about GSA is interacting with so many people from different backgrounds and being able to come together in order to think of ways to further advance the LGBTQ+ community, GSA club, and safe spaces around Chicago,” she said.
GSA had gender and sexuality sensitivity training at the beginning of the year as well as Ally Week activities in order to prepare their members on how to treat others on such a sensitive topic. The club has also begun to sell safe zone stickers to the teachers who support students and are open minded about the topic.
The GSA Day for Racial Justice falls on Feb 24, which is a day people fight for the future and celebrate the multiple identities people hold. The club is planning on getting a guest speaker for this specific occasion the week of February 15 or March 1st. While planning these exciting events, the club also wants to offer an open-mic along with the People Of Color Caucus (POCC). All of these events will be open to the whole school.
GSA is hoping to partner up with Black Girl Magic and Latino Culture Club. They are also considering the Black-Future-Legends which uses black history month as an opportunity to look at past inspirations from movements in history and highlight the voices of today’s queer and trans youth of color who are fighting for our nation’s future is in Ferguson New York City, Washington D.C., and Oakland Wisconsin.
President Nathan Petithomme said, “As President of the GSA, I created the club because even though Lindblom seemed tolerant of LGBTQ+ students, it didn’t seem like an accepting environment and in turn silenced these issues.”
“As a student who was coming in terms with my sexuality, I wanted to make a safe space for students and work on making Lindblom an accepting environment,” he said.
The favorite part of the GSA club for students is to advocate for different issues and seeing the change in the school. Ever since the beginning of the 2016-2017 school year, Lindblom’s GSA has had exceptional visibility.
The club is working on a gender neutral bathroom, has trained the teachers and certified them with the Out for Safe Schools card, has distributed Safe Zone stickers throughout the school, and has been featured in a DNA info article. Furthermore, GSA hopes to galvanize the Lindblom student body through passionately advocating for a more inclusive environment.