By Anna Pepe, Clinical Supervisor
The borough of Carteret and Mayor Daniel Reiman proclaimed this past Saturday, June 23, 2018 as LGBTQ PRIDE Day.
GSA stands for Gender & Sexuality Alliance and is a student led club run by the Pathways School Based Youth Services Program at Carteret High School.
A Pride flag raising event took place to acknowledge the importance of the GSA and the LGBTQ community in Carteret. Mayor Reiman spoke of the importance of LGBTQ rights and invited GSA members to raise the Pride flag located at the Memorial Municipal Building.
The event consisted of a performance by the Varsity Vocals group of CHS as well as Rich Hennessy, a New York based performing artist from Carteret, who was excited to return and give back to the community and support the GSA. Two GSA members spoke at the flag raising ceremony. A Carteret High School (CHS) student and GSA member, Anna Trachsler, described the Pathways GSA as an “amazing place for LGBTQ youth to come to talk about their struggles and to feel like a family when their family at home may not accept who they are”. Anna highlighted the struggles of adolescence, how they become magnified for LGBTQ youth and the importance of acceptance within their community. Haniyfa Larkins, another GSA member and Pathways peer leader, spoke of personal experiences and finding support within the Pathways GSA. Haniyfa drives her point regarding LGBTQ equality by stating, “I’m a human who fell in love with people.”
Pathways GSA is working with Lindsay Erben of the Central Jersey Arts Council and the borough of Carteret to continue with such Pride events and bridge the gap between the GSA at the high school and the community at large. GSA members are excited to receive support from the community and eager to plan future events.