The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Join the Club: Gender Sexuality Alliance

Members+of+the+GSA+club+at+a+meeting+on+January+15th
Members of the GSA club at a meeting on January 15th

An Inclusive Safe Place for People of All Genders, Identities, and Sexualities

Katie Mathews, Ginny Seidenberg and Eliza Coast

There are few clubs that have been around for 25 years, but the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) has been around since 1994. GSA was the first club of its kind in public schools in Virginia.  

The GSA works to make T.C. a more welcoming place for all its students. It strives to act as not only a place of understanding and acceptance, but also as a place of improvement for the LGBTQIA+ community within T.C. 

“I first joined the GSA to find a community that was accessible to me in person. There are a lot of online communities that have really helped me accept and express who I am,” said club Co-President Junior Jal Pierce.  “It is always nice to find a group of people who can support you and who you can offer support to who you can talk to face to face.”

Pierce identifies as gender-fluid, which is when a person does not identify as a fixed gender. Pierce switches between he/him and she/her pronouns.

The GSA used to be known as the Gay-Straight Alliance, but the club recently voted on a name change. The club is now known as the Gender-Sexuality Alliance. The new name is meant to include people of all sexualities and genders in the club. 

A typical GSA meeting starts with everyone sharing their name and preferred pronouns. The club then starts with discussions about issues prevalent to the LGBTQIA+ community, and usually watches and discusses a movie or video about the LGBTQIA+ community.

“This club is absolutely important, especially in our school… we can help educate people, and help reinforce the idea that everyone is valid, and everyone deserves acceptance,” said Pierce.

The GSA participates in an array of activities every school year, such as the National Day of Silence, a student-led action sponsered by the Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) since the mid 90s. During the National Day of Silence, students take a day long vow of silence in honor of LGBTQIA+ students being silenced.

The club raises funds to educate others about different LGBTQIA+ identities and what they mean. Pamphlets with definitions of vocabulary pertaining to the community are distributed to help other people understand identities that are different from their own.

The club donates leftover funds to organizations like the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network (RAINN), the Trevor Project, and the It Gets Better project. These foundations provide support to LGBTQIA+ youth in times of crisis.

“Before I joined the GSA, I would rarely speak up about my pronouns, or even tell people that I was gender fluid,” said Pierce.

“Now that I have a community, I have started speaking up a lot more, and engaging in discussions about this sort of thing a lot. It’s been really helpful in a lot of ways.”

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Join the Club: Gender Sexuality Alliance