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Author Topic: Does your school have a Gay-Straight Alliance???
playingbyheart
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Hi all! My friends and I just started a GSA at our high school in NJ. I work on the website and if you'd like to check it out, you can find it at http://obhshue.tripod.com -please sign the guestbook with opinions and whatnot. If you want to be real nice, check out the shop and buy something if you want. All profits go to our club. Visit the site to read more about it.

Anyway- so far we haven't done much with HUE, but i'm open to any ideas anyone has that they have done with their GSA or any activities they think would be good.

If your school does have a GSA, please list the name and location of your school/club in this thread and any advisors that our advisor could get in contact with.

-smile-


Posts: 91 | From: Chicago, Il | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
KimmyP
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I think thats soooo awesome that you've got an organization like that at your school.

Are there any students that talk bad about your group and think that its creepy?

My gay friendwas telling me that homosexuality is accepted soo much more up north then it tends to be in the south.
It seems like, no matter how modern and high-tech we are here in Dallas, there are always some "rednecks" around that are bashing gays, blacks, etc.

Nice Website :-)

------------------
Its ALL good :)


Posts: 54 | From: Dallas, Texas, USA | Registered: Jul 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jupiter
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hey, not all rednecks come from the vast plains of Texas - we got us some pretty decent specimens in the northern wastes, too *lets out a Coors belch & scratches her overall'd groin* Several students (who don't care about the threatening things that happen to we people who live in cow towns and publicly state that we aren't straight) attempted to start a GSA in our school. Our administration outright forbid it and said that they "didn't like the impression that such organizations conveyed about our school" (like what? the idea that school is accepting? Maybe they're afraid that we'd start having pansexual orgies in the cafeteria - as if that's possible. I mean, looking up at the mystery substances the freshmen splat across the caf's ceiling is enough to turn your stomach, never mimnd turning you off!) so anyway, they forbid (forbidded? forbode? forbade? suggestions for a person who speaks _grammatical_ english as a second language) it outright and threatened to suspend all other afterschool activities (i.e. drama club, NHS, World of Difference [a tolerance program. Ha ha.]) unless we gave it up simply and quietly. Blackmail, yes. Extortion, yes. Fair, no. Can we say or do anything and not get our other clubs stolen out from under us? not as long as our Nazi-commandant principal remains in her position! (notice that they'd have kept all the athletics, requiring physical labor - albrecht macht frei, after all....)
Posts: 55 | From: West Sand Lake (aka Cow Pasture), NY | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jupiter
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Sorry. Had to vent. And so, Kimmy P, you see that the intolerant are an omnipresent force, similar to McDonald's.
Posts: 55 | From: West Sand Lake (aka Cow Pasture), NY | Registered: Aug 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
playingbyheart
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Jupiter: it really sucks that your school was so nasty about everything. If you really wanted to, I bet that you coulda gone through a legal fight and, yes, they woulda stopped all clubs for a while, maybe- but you know so many people would complain about ALL clubs being stopped so they couldn't deal with it forever.

In any case, we didn't have a super-easy time starting a GSA either, though we did get approved after a few months of waiting.

The administration was actually all for-it from the start, but the activities advisor gave them second thoughts and we were forced to wait.

Our club all started when my friend and I anoymously e-mailed a teacher we both had and respected (who is married, btw) and asked how we should go about starting this club.

She was VERY iffy at first, but promised that she'd find out some info for us. -it turned out that the substance abuse advisor was interested in helping us out to get started, and eventually she became the advisor of HUE.

Good luck in the rest of your school years, and I hope that even w/ out a gsa you and your friends fight the homophobia by just being there and being tolerent/out/whatever.

-adena

btw- I also come from that not grammatical english speaking planet. It's nice to meet a neigbor on the boards.


Posts: 91 | From: Chicago, Il | Registered: Jun 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Heather
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I would be happy, by the way, to set up free web space at Scarleteen for anyone like playingbyheart who has a group at school and wants a page.

If you need it, just shout.


Posts: 67955 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Stinkerbelle
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Our GSA set up a teacher inservice day, where we went and informed teachers and staff of the discriminationand judgement that went on at school (actually, some of the teachers were the worst offenders). We also informed them of how to deal with harrassment in the classroom. We won an award for our work, too!
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playingbyheart
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Miz Scarlet: I'd love to move my page over to scarleteen, although my biggest concern is the length of the site name since we are going to put it on posters and it should be something easy to remember and/or write down. Would the adress @ scarleteen be www.scarleteen.com/obhshue (or something like that?)

Those ads required on the tripod page are really bugging me and some of them are just inappropriate for the atmosphere and comfort i want my page to have.

If the page was @ scarleteen, obviously a link and any other information you required would be put on there, but would you have any banner advertisements like those on tripod? Thanks a lot for the info!

--Stinkerbelle, how did you go about setting up the teacher inservice? This idea came about at our meetings but we'd need to find someone to come in to talk to them... if you could provide more information on this matter, it would be much appreciated.


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Heather
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Hey playing.

Drop me a mail and we can talk about this: boardmom@scarleteen.com

I'm sure we can work it out for you.


Posts: 67955 | From: An island near Seattle | Registered: May 2000  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
jonnyquest
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When I read this posting I really felt elated at such a group being created. Where I went to University in Eastern Canada there was a Gay Support Group however they couldn't get an office or telephone number. The Students' Union did allow them Society Status but not all the benefits of a Society at the University. The SU reasoning was that the group would receive too much hate calls, mail, etc if they were given actual space to exist in. Instead they chose to keep it completely anonymous.

Eventually (during my final year) the group was alloted an office and support number through tireless efforts of certain SU members, the support group itself, and the student newspaper. It did come down to threatening lawsuit as described above.

The group still runs a strict "no-outing" policy due to the severe homophobia at the university. This is not within the student body so much as in the Catholic Tradition of the administration. I had to publish a response to the Pink Triangle issue we do every year at the student paper, from a rather high ranking official at the university expressing their disgust at the strong gay presence and our promotion of a "wrong" lifestyle. However I am very happy that the presence of the gay lesbian bi-sexual group has received much support from the student body at large, and has allowed the group to run it's own fund raising (it used to run fund raising through the Students' Union in order to disassociate any membership). When I see younger people showing so much acceptance, as we tried to promote in a very unaccepting environment it reminds me how much has changed, but also how much more has to be done. I really think your club is inspirational along with this website - please keep up the wonderful work.

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"I'll have champagne for my real friends, and real pain for my sham friends." - T. Waits


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Bobolink
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Jupiter, you may want to contact the American Civil Liberties Union about this. They have a very successful record in suing school boards and administrators who try to block the formation of Gay-Straight Alliances.

Here is a link to contact the New York State branches: http://www.nyclu.org/contact.html#Main

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We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.

- Albert Einstein


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Gumdrop Girl
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once i ran a google search on my boyfriend's high school. turns out, the year after both of us graduated (1999), his school made national headlines after the administrationg objected to the formation of a GSA. my boyfriend grew up in Orange County, CA, which is a notable conservative stronghold. Flocks of parents shared their objections to the GSA with the school board, but under intense national pressure and a few court rulings, the club was finally allowed to meet. The high school affectionately known as "ElMo," was dubbed "HoMo" by anti-GLBT folks.

but i would say this is a big victory anyway. go ElMo!

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oh, don't even po-mo me, baby...


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shh
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f

[This message has been edited by shh (edited 07-17-2002).]


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icatchfire
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I'm fortunate to go to a school that is very open minded. we have a on-campus club called GLASS.
Gay Lesbian And Straight Students

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ice_magick
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How might someone start one??
Posts: 34 | From: Baltimore,MD,21214 | Registered: Mar 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
PoetgirlNY
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Check out this site on some information on starting a GSA
www.centeryes.org/SIGNS/manual/index.html

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"I'll be a Venus on a chocolate clamshell rising on a sea of marshmallow foam."
-Hedwig


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indigodazed
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We have a GSA, and have for a looooong time.
Posts: 57 | From: Minneapolis | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
way2in2tv
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I'm enterin high school next year, and I'd really like to start some sort of club to stop discrimination. Unfortunately, people at the high school are not really tolerant and I'm afraid that people in the club might not want to join because they're afraid that other kids will call make fun of them or start labelling them. I'm also afraid to start anythin since i'm just a freshman. I wouldn't want people labelling ME for being a part of the club... any advice?
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DrQuack5
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We have an awesome GSA. I think it was started about a year or two ago, but it has grown so quickly. I think we have the biggest high school GSA in the Metro area. I think. Maybe I'm just bragging us up.

I think we won some GSA contest, too, earlier this year. I'm not sure, though.


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shh
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DrQuack, do you have details about the award? I am just curious because I'm planning stuff for my GSA to do next year.
Thanks.

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DrQuack5
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It was something held at Bryant Lake Bowl, I think. I had hockey so I wasn't there and didn't hear too much about it.

I'll ask some people that were there, though.


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JustSomeGuy
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I just wanted to say that I think it's really great that there are so many people that have created such groups, despite the many more that are so opposed to them.

My school does have a GSA, known as Allies, but I've never been to it. The reason? I'm afraid. My school does have quite a few people that aren't too keen on the idea of bisexuality/homosexuality, and I would be afraid that I would get the label of being "one of them", a label which sets you up from criticism from the not-so-accepting people.

And also, I think I am bisexual, so I would be interested in going to a meeting to see what it's all about, but in order to do that, I would have to stay after school. Staying after school usually gets the question from my parents, "What did you stay after for today?" What would I say? My parents don't know about my orientation, and at this point I don't want them to know. I don't want to lie about what I was doing after school, but what else could I do?

I wish such clubs were somehow more accessible. I don't know how they could be, but that's what I would want

that and I don't think the club is organized too well- I haven't heard anything about it for a while (no announcements for meetings or anything like that). I'm not even sure the group still has an advisor, because it seems that a bunch of organizations lack leadership at the moment. the school paper (of which I am part) lacks an advisor, Yearbook has no advisor right now, and Youth Against Racism has no advisor at the moment either. It's amazing that a school the size of the one I attend (2800+ students) doesn't support the number of clubs that there should be.


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badly_behaved_badger
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Wow! It's great that so many of you have a GSA at your school! Does my school have one? No. If anyone asked for one, they'd probably be thrown out and get beaten up. Homosexuality is somewhat a feared 'disease' where I come from. I can count the number of gay-accepting tolerant people I know on the fingers of one hand. If someone makes a nasty homophobic comment, I'll try to show them they are wrong, but what's one voice in a thousand? It's time they taught tolerance at school.
*Badger*

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Sh!mmeR!ng*staR
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quote:
Originally posted by icatchfire:
I'm fortunate to go to a school that is very open minded. we have a on-campus club called GLASS.
[b]G
ay Lesbian And Straight Students[/B]
whoa, that's weird. my high school's GSA is called GLASS too! do you happen to live in wisconsin, by any chance?

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Prosperity that
the golden Muses
gave me was no
delusion: dead, I
won't be forgotten
-Sappho


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cumquat
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MY school has a GSA as well, though it also goes by CRU-Creating Respect Unanimously. I try to go to meetings, but I'm very busy with Drama, which, in a way, is a lot like going to a GSA meeting. We're very accepting and a lot of us are GBL (not transexuals, not that we wouldn't be accepting! just that there aren't any at my school.)

------------------
"I want to live like I type--fast, and with lots of mistakes"


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Sunset_Rose
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I think its fantastic that there are so many support groups out there! Unfortunatly my school does not have one. Not only do they not have one, but homosexuality isnt even talked about. Its not on the PSHE (personal social and health education) or anything. Grrrrr!
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Blue Roses
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Yep, my college (Bryn Mawr) has one, called Rainbow Alliance...we're really accepting of different sexualities - in fact, the lightbulb joke for BM goes,

How many mawrtyrs does it take to screw in a lightbulb?
One, and 5 to support her sexuality.

*grins* I picked a rather convenient time to start exploring that side of myself - my school doesn't have anything like a GSA, and I was traumatized enough without that adding to it!


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PoetgirlNY
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quote:
Originally posted by cumquat:
We're very accepting and a lot of us are GBL (not transexuals, not that we wouldn't be accepting! just that there aren't any at my school.)


Ya know, cumquat, you wouldn't necessarily know if someone in your school is transgendered. Assumptions like that might be making the environment less comfortable for anyone who might not be out about their gender.

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You were never no locomotive, Sunflower, you were a sunflower!
-Allen Ginsberg


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cumquat
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PoetgirlNY-Point taken. I didn't mean to say my school, just the drama dept, where I do know a lot about the people, because we're all very close.

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"I want to live like I type--fast, and with lots of mistakes"

[This message has been edited by cumquat (edited 10-20-2002).]


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Jessycle
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I'm am truly disappointed in my highschool, which I started in this year. I had thought that since I am in Massachusetts, and because I'm in a pretty open community, that the highschol might have a GSA.
But nope. Not only that, but I found out the truth of the opinion of homosexuals among the students, and it's so funny I practically go into a seizure just thinking about it.
In actuality, people who come out are thought to be doing it for attention, and that being gay is some kind of fad or publicity stunt. Everyone is in denial about actual people who are attracted to the same sex, and only teachers are believed to be homosexuals when they announce it. For example, I read this comic "boy meets boy", whose two main characters are gay, and printed out some of my fav fan art from it to tape on my binder and draw on my hands. One casual aquaintance of mine was wondering what the pictures were about, and since I thought she was a trustworthy and open person, I explained it to her. However, it took me about ten minutes to explain that the two main characters were boyfriends, that they were gay, and that, no, their not just confused. Fortunately, she eventually understood and grew to love the comic, but it's ridiculus how in denial the student body is in general.
I guess I'm in what you would call the not-straight crowd, basically the drama people, but because I play team sports I hear gossip about who's "saying their gay" all the time.
I'm sure there are others in my school who are afraid to "come-out", or even just to accept gay people, because of this common mindset, and so I wish we could set up a GSA, but I have a feeling it wouldn't be well recieved.
Evil student people.

And that's my rant,
Jessie

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"Art is life! without art, comic books are but short novels!" - Milo, from Pepperann.

I care because 95% of the people on this planet could disappear and be replaced with futons. And, other than the brief period where everyone wandered around saying, "Hey, where'd this futon come from?" the general quality of conversation would not deteriorate.

Deadjournal, Wheeeeeeeeeeee!~ www.deadjournal.com/users/jessycle


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