By: Anna Pepe, Anna Pepe, Clinical Supervisor - Pathways
In 2015, the need for a Gender & Sexuality Alliance (GSA) was brought to the attention of Pathways staff, Anna Pepe by one former student, then sophomore, Alissa Radford.
Fast forward to 2019, Anna Pepe has worked closely with CHS students to grow the GSA which has provided a plethora of opportunities and support for LGBTQ students and allies of Carteret High School. GSA Members consist of LGBTQ students and allies.
Members have had the annual opportunity to attend the statewide GSA Forum, the privilege to present for the second year in a row at the New Jersey Planned Parenthood Conference to educate and support peers around the state as well as partake in June Pride events.
Recently, the Pathways GSA hosted their first movie night at Carteret's Blazing Star. The Carteret community and Mayor, Dan Reiman, will recognize the Pathways GSA at the June 15th annual Pride Flag raising event.
Plans are underway for students to attend their first Pride Parade in Asbury Park.
To kick off spring, GSA members had an amazing opportunity to attend the Creating Safe Space and Living Authentically workshop with Jiselle Madison Parker of Gender Fabulous. The workshop focused on the struggles of maintaining a mask that is not consistent with one's authentic self. Students bonded and shared personal stories regarding the "masks" they wear and the struggles with living an authentic life as an LGBTQ teen along with other social, cultural and religious identities that define them.
Students are looking forward to all that lies ahead as the GSA continues to expand in membership, visibility and community opportunities that encourage a sense of belonging to the greater LGBTQ community.