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Green, White, and Gay: At the Table With GSA

GSA is an important club at Pine Crest for supporting the LGBTQ+ community (Photo via Pixabay)

GSA is an important club at Pine Crest for supporting the LGBTQ+ community (Photo via Pixabay)

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Pine Crest’s club offerings vary greatly.  PC features career-oriented Business and Pre-Med Clubs, religious clubs in Hessed-Forum and the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, and other fun with the Spirit, ESports, and Gourmet Clubs.  However, the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) helps make up another branch of informative extracurricular experiences for Pine Crest students. GSA is the focus of this month’s “At The Table,” a way for the student body to get to know a Pine Crest club or organization that they may not otherwise familiarize themselves with or engage in.

Speaking candidly, high school can be an intimidating experience full of exposure to new voices, ideas, and perspectives. It is a time of self exploration for every student, but especially for those who are in the midst of discovering their sexual orientation or gender identity. Luckily, Pine Crest offers a safe space for this potentially overwhelming period—the GSA. As president of the GSA, I strive to create an environment where students of all sexual orientations and gender identities feel comfortable, welcomed, and accepted because, unfortunately, this may be the only place where many students feel truly safe in who they are.

Being a teenager in itself can be hard, but being a teenager grappling with something as pivotal and defining as identity gives an elevated challenge to every aspect of life—high school is no exception. While Pine Crest does an exceptional job in creating a school community that is welcoming and loving to everyone, there is no definitive way to ensure that each and every student will follow suit.  Many LGBTQIA+ students live in constant worry about the way that their friends and parents will react to their identities, and how they will be perceived by others.

GSA has monthly meetings, as a club, where we engage in open dialogue on various topics that are on the minds of our members such as analyzing recent bisexual representation in media, and discussing the rights of transgender people under the new administration. We also try to engage in the larger South Florida GSA community by attending some of their events. We have brought the Day of Silence to PC—a day that raises awareness on the harassment and bullying of LGBTQIA+ youth. 

There are many extremely supportive and outspoken allies to the queer community at Pine Crest like Senior Juanita Garcia who is also vice president of the club.  She has been very grateful for her experience as part of the GSA.

“I joined GSA because I wanted to be an involved ally in our school’s [LGBTQIA+] community and foster a more inclusive and accepting environment for minorities.  For me, it’s important to support and represent disadvantaged and/or minority communities in order to create better student culture and awareness at Pine Crest,” Garcia said.

Senior Lola Nedic agreed and said, “GSA is important to the Pine Crest community because it serves as a safe space for [LGBTQIA+] students.  It’s important that every student has a place at PC where they can feel safe and accepted.”

We are the generation that is leaving intolerance behind and is moving toward acceptance. However, there will always be people who struggle to accept what is different from themselves; there will always be those who choose not to support our GSA community. But we are stronger, we are resilient, and we will continue to exist. Homophobia has no place in the Pine Crest community nor in the larger community as a whole.  The best thing that we can do, both in GSA and out, is to educate. However, above all, we must love our unique individualism and surround ourselves with people who make us feel valid and accepted.  

Source: GLSEN

Photo Source: Pixabay

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The Student News Site of Pine Crest School
Green, White, and Gay: At the Table With GSA