IHS Gay-Straight Alliance club

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IHS has its very own GSA club, supporting lgbtq+ students who need a safe space. Check out “IHS GSA club” by Suhas Konijeti.

Suhas Konijeti, Reporter

Students at Independence High School (IHS) are welcome to join the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) club, a support club for students who need a safe space to talk. The GSA club focuses on LGBTQIA+ teens who are trying to find themselves. 

The GSA was created in the 1980s. Here at IHS was implemented around six years ago (the school opened in 2014). At IHS, the club is student-led by three students and is sponsored by AP Economics teacher Megan England. GSA was implemented along with all non-curricular clubs; students felt that they wanted to create a fellowship space to explore the topic deeper, hence the GSA club. 

The GSA is a safe space where students don’t feel judged for being who they are, and are able to meet peers who are similar to them and can relate to their struggles. The GSA is not only just a club for those in the community but also allies who want to support the community and learn more about it.

These clubs have been shown by scientific research to have good academic, health, and social effects on students of a minority sexual orientation and/or gender identity. 

England describes why it is important for students to have this support club, and how it benefits the students.

“GSA focuses on creating a safe space for fellowship and for educating about the foundation, history, and goals of the LGBTQIA+ community,” England said. “Having a non-judgmental, safe space, in general, is needed for all students.”

One of the GSA leaders, senior Kyla Connelly, shares why she personally feels it is important IHS has this support club.

“I struggled alone and wasn’t knowledgeable on anything to do with the LGBTQIA+ community, and felt very alone with my feelings,” Jadcherla said. 

Jadcherla also mentioned how the GSA has helped her.

“I was able to find friends who taught me a lot and helped me find myself when I was completely lost,” Jadcherla said. “My hope is to make everyone feel fully accepted in the club and feel safe and free while they are at  club meetings.”

Jadcherla shares what goes on during club meetings and what is discussed.

“We talk about a range of education topics such as, what all the colors and words mean, to important sex education, to current and historical fashion in the community,” she said. “We also have fun interactive activities to build friendships within the club to help all our members get close to one another.”

England shares her thoughts on the importance of this club.

“Club meetings usually consist of checking in with each other and a lesson put on by the officers; lessons have included LGBT+ history, education, and fun activities,” she said. “I feel any club that helps support a sense of identity and self is vital.” 

To join or learn more about the Gay-Straight Alliance club attend the Friday before school meetings at 8:20-8:50 in room B222