Club Profile: Hampton Bays GSA

Mr. Perez with members of the GSA

Jason Fallo

Mr. Perez with members of the GSA

Jason Fallo, Reporter

Mr. Perez with members of the GSA (Jason Fallo)

The Gay-Straight Alliance, or GSA, is a series of clubs all across the country designed to give LGBTQIA students and allies a safe place to express themselves and explore their identities. The Hampton Bays High School GSA club meets on Wednesdays in room 39 and is run by Mr. Perez. When asked about what students do in GSA, Mr. Perez said, “We talk about matters important to [the] LGBTQ community, from politics, to society, culture, music, art. Most days it’s just a lot of fun, we talk about our highs and lows, which is an activity where we go around the room and we ask everybody to share a high point of their week and a low point of their week.” The GSA club also has several activities and events for students to participate in. “At this point in time what we’re working on are identity poems, where students practice poetry to express their own identities. We take part in the National Coming Out Day campaign every year, which is October 11th. Maybe you saw our table at the cafeteria set up with ribbons and all that to give out to raise awareness. It’s really about raising awareness and creating a safe space and accepting environment for LGBTQ students.” GSA is a very important club for students here in HB, Mr. Perez explained. “I think it’s important that everybody feels that they have a place where they are accepted in school, whether they are LGBTQ or an ally or whatever. It’s hard to learn if you don’t feel safe where you are and everybody should feel safe in school, especially with the world that we live in today and what’s going on, so I think it’s important that we provide this space for our students, that we provide them a space where they feel like they can be themselves.”

If you want to help support the GSA club the best way would be to attend some of the meetings and take part in the events. Last month GSA started a new fun monthly trivia series, featuring anime and video games categories alongside LGBTQ culture. Mr. Perez also said, “If you want to be a real ally, speak up when you hear people saying stupid things, you know, like ‘That’s so gay,’ or ‘Don’t be x, y, or z’ right? We have to fight against that kind of language, we have to fight against that kind of discrimination. Be an active upstander, don’t just be a witness.”

The GSA meets every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:00 in room 39. Keep in mind that attending GSA doesn’t automatically mean you belong to a certain label, you can just come support classmates and join in the fun.