The Gender & Sexuality Alliance club, commonly referred to as the GSA, is a recreational club at PATHWAYS that provides the students of Carteret High School with a fun and safe space to express themselves and address LGBTQ topics. The group provides a social and supportive component as well as an educational and advocacy aspect. The club includes monthly general and leadership meetings as well as a discussion group which addresses topics surrounding gender and sexuality.
This club was inspired by student interest. In the spring of 2015, Alissa, a junior at the time, came to PATHWAYS to discuss the need for a GSA at Carteret High School. She sought support of her peers by creating a petition requesting a GSA in the high school. Through several meetings with Alissa and then with other students and school staff, planning for the GSA was underway. As a new group for the 2015-16 school year, the GSA already has close to 40 members, 12 of whom have taken on active leadership roles. Student interest, desire and enthusiasm has been the driving force for this club. Students are eager to have discussions around meaningful topics as well as educate their peers on the impacts of bullying among the LGBTQ community.
The year ahead for the GSA is an exciting one as we embark on our first year! The GSA has already highlighted important days such as Unity Day and National Week of Respect. Throughout the school year we will highlight Trans Day of Remembrance, No Name Calling Week and the Day of Silence to name a few. Thus far the GSA has been an empowering experience for all youth involved as they work towards creating positive change and acceptance within their community.