Photo: Members of BA’s Gay Straight Alliance
By Taesha Joseph
Many people don’t know we have a Gay Straight Alliance program/club here at Boyd Anderson. The group is all about encouraging people to be more open about what they like and embrace their sexual preferences and identities. The club provides a safe space for kids to open up about good things that’s going on in their lives. The club doesn’t have to tell them only good things. We always listen to the bad parts because people often get bullied for being or acting a certain way.
Many people in the LGBTQ community are not comfortable or don’t feel welcome, even here at BA. Some people shame them for being themselves because they dress as the opposite gender. GSA aims to support people and help them express their sexuality more openly, along with their feelings. Mr Valle is the GSA advisor and I’m the president of the group along with 10 graders Damon, Hesus, and Terrance. We try to recruit people to be open and show that our school has pride in people because we’re the same as everyone else, except that our sexual preferences are different.
Recently we had a diversity meeting at Broward College for a group GSA meeting with other schools. It was good to explore different things for us to look forward to. The activities they had included mental health and mindfulness, adoptions and surrogates,and good vs abusive relationships. These types of sessions helped a lot because some people don’t have the self-confidence to come out of their comfort zone with their sexuality.
People tend to make LGBTQ folks feel uncomfortable about things they can’t change because it’s not a thing you can just change. It’s who we are.
As president of the group I think the Broward College sessions made a difference to those who attended.
“The field trip made me feel comfortable around all kinds of people who are like me and the GSA group is like surrounding myself with a positive family who I can connect and relate to without any judgments,” said BA senior Myana Dodd. “I had fun just learning new things. The different sessions at the field trip were inspiring and fun and the LGBTQ+ community is a beautiful community filled with awesome, bright people who just know how to have fun”.
BA senior Akeilah Chang said, “ It was educational for me to learn about the different types of genders,and different flags/ representations.”
These people are saying that kindness goes a long way. People being nice to one another make people feel trusting enough to come out of their own bubble.
Many people think the Broward College event would beneficial to people even if you’re not part of the LGBTQ+ community. People who like the opposite gender are interested in groups like this because it helps open their minds and not block out people who like the same gender.
Not a lot separates the LBGTQ+ community from everyone else. We’re human beings seeking happiness, connection and acceptance.
Ke’lisha Kelly, an 11th grader, said it best: The GSA group is amazing and fun and comfortable. I love the positive vibes here and the trip was a blast. We need to do it again”.