How GSA Plans to Show Pride This School Year

Woodland’s Gender-Sexuality Alliance, also known as GSA, has opened up meetings for the 2018-2019 school year. GSA is an inclusive community for all of the student body. Members of the club describe it as a place to be yourself and feel accepted. To its members, GSA is more than just a club. It is a safe space to go and be with others just like them. The GSA had a wonderful 2017-2018 school year, according to the Public Relations Manager, Jason Soisson.

“We had a few memorable events including Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Soisson shared. “We also went to True Colors in March, which is an annual conference consisting of a handful of workshops, similar to Woodland’s E3. True colors is more based on LGBT subjects.”

The GSA has had a strong start this year, having The Stonewall Speakers come in and talk about LGBT issues, their stories of self discovery and their struggles. The Stonewall Speakers are an all-volunteer bureau comprised of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender people and their allies. The speakers strive to increase understanding of the community among the student body by educational outreach.

“It was a very riveting experience, and I found the subject matter very engaging,” Soisson vocalized. “I would definitely recommend anyone who is interested to attend one of their talks.”

Apart from the Stonewall visit, the GSA has meetings that discuss certain LGBT topics planned throughout this school year, including LGBT in the news, discrimination in school, and ways that can help spread love and acceptance throughout the student body.

“A typical meeting would be us talking about LGBT news, some common issues as well as what events are upcoming for the club,” Soisson stated. “We already have all the meetings planned up through July.”

The GSA has around 18 members, but the club is always looking for new members to join.

“We’re trying to get more people in to help spread the message of our club, and we’re trying to spread the message of how to get involved in GSA,” Soisson said. “Members can just show up to meetings, you don’t have to attend every meeting to be adequately involved.”

Aside from spreading the word of the GSA to the student body, the members also go out in Beacon Falls and Prospect to do local fundraisers. Last year, they sold cookies outside of the Beacon Falls Pharmacy. Most of the money raised went towards the True Colors Conference. The True Colors Conference is a non-profit organization that works with other social service agencies, schools, organizations, and within communities to ensure that the needs of sexual and gender minority youth are both recognized and competently met.

The GSA is a place of inclusion, and it is a place for students to be themselves without fear of judgement. It is a safe space for anyone: gay, straight, or indifferent. By getting involved, students will be able to spread positivity around Woodland and in the community.

“Join us for the fundraisers, go to club meetings, we just encourage anyone to get involved however they want to,” Soisson shared. “Get interested in the club, bring your friends. It’s open to anyone and everyone.”

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