WHS’ Gay Straight Alliance

Opinion articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Raider Times staff nor its advisor.

The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a club, which accepts people of any sexuality, whether someone is straight, gay or lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, pansexual, and even people who are questioning what gender they prefer. The club is supposed to provide an atmosphere that is warm and welcoming for people of all sexualities, regardless of their gender, race, religion, and sexuality.  It is also trying to raise awareness of LBGTQ (Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay, Transgender, and Questioning) issues around Watertown High School.

The GSA meets regularly Mondays after school at 2:45 in Ms. Riling’s room. Ms. Riling, one of the advisors of the club, says that “no one has been rude to others about their sexuality and that everyone is accepting of everyone else.”  I believe that having the Gay-Straight Alliance within the school is a fantastic thing to have because it gets people’s attention on sexuality and it helps people understand the different sexualities that other people have. By heightening awareness, people can be more accepting of their peers’ sexualities. When this understanding is in people’s minds, students can be more open about their sexual orientation because they feel secure and comfortable while in the club, knowing that they are not going to be judged based on who they like.

Some people are more accepting of someone’s sexual orientation than others, and the people that are not as accepting tend to judge people based on the sexuality of the person without even knowing them. Students “who may be opposed to the ideals of the Gay-Straight Alliance may be this way because they are not as open to sexuality as others and may be scared of people being included, because of their sexual orientation,” according to Ms. Riling. I believe that judging someone based on this is similar to judging someone on their skin color, religion, who they hang out with, what they wear, and even how they talk. Schools should be a safe place for all students and should also

be bias-free, having no opinion bringing someone down based on who they wish to like.

The American Civil Liberties Union has an organization with very similar goals as the Gay-Straight Alliance: to make people feel more comfortable and secure about their sexuality.  The American Civil Liberties Union is trying to do this all over the country and has a history of defending the LBGT community from being wrongfully judged. They have been making a lot of progress with the courts of the country and in the general public, the citizens.

The Gay-Straight Alliance is trying to create a more welcoming and calm atmosphere within the school so people with different sexualities have no fear of expressing themselves to others, and I believe that they are going to succeed in their mission because there are dedicated people within the club, including the advisor, and the school itself seems to be open to the idea of everyone having different sexualities. The club wants to raise awareness of any LBGTQ issues in the school so everyone can be at peace with one another, and I believe that with enough determination and hard work, the club will pull it off.