Gay Straight Alliance Stands Against All Violence

In response to the recent events regarding police violence across the nation, the Gay-Straight-Alliance on campus took a stand against bias toward various identities. Although the violence was primarily regarded as racist, the students responded to this news in order to advocate for standing up for all identities. In the Zone every Thursday this active club works toward a vision of equality, especially for members of the LGBTQIADP community. (This acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer, Intersex, Asexual, Demisexual and Pansexual.)

According to sophomore Erika Thomas, who is curring running the club with the help of ZONE intern Asjia Williams, the GSA is a place for people to be comfortable with themselves and speak their minds.

“The club is great,” Erika said. “I believe that the GSA makes a huge impact on the people who are willing to listen. There are honestly so many misconceptions about the LGBTQ [the more common acronym] community and so many people who are uneducated about the community and that’s why we are here to help.”

Students in the GSA Club want to spread awareness and education so that people no longer feel the same oppression that LGBTQ people all over the country have felt because of their gender expression or sexual orientation. Even though the club is a mix of allies and LGBTQ members, every one still works toward this common goal.

Amy Eagen, GSA Club advisor and social worker in the ZONE, said that they have gotten off to a great start this year by having multiple guest speakers come in to talk to the group about their experiences. They had a speaker from Garden State Equality talk to the group about her experience as a trans woman. The GSA Club had a speaker from the American Civil Liberties Union visit to talk about current laws and cases they have had regarding LGBTQ issues in school communities. And a published author explained to the GSA his past experiences growing up being gay and keeping his identity hidden, and his current work advocating for the community.

Although this is only her third year as advisor, Ms. Eagen thinks such role models will encourage the GSA, and she is excited to see the impact of the GSA grow throughout the year.

“We’re all very passionate, so I’d imagine lots of good things are going to come,” explained Ms. Eagan, “and hopefully a lot of it the community will see, hear, and feel,” she said.

Ms. Eagan, Erika Thomas, and Asjia William, the Zone intern and past president of the GSA, all agree that the club makes a difference, even if it’s a little difference, because people know that they are committed to standing up for the LGBTQ community and promoting equality.