July 12, 2013

How My GSA Has Impacted My Life: Roger's High School Students Speak Out

Rogers High School is in Spokane, WA. Their GSA was a finalist for the GSA of the Year 2013 award!



















When I started high school, I already knew about the GSA here but I didn't start going until the end of my Junior year.  I was just so scared I wouldn't be accepted for who I truly am (I am physically a girl but identify as a male).  Since going, I have participated in my first Drag Show and have had people call me by the gender I prefer.  I have met some amazing people, not only in our GSA but in the entire LGBT community.  We have had some guest speakers (Members of the Spokane Imperial Court and Kris Wood, a Rogers grad who actually began the GSA here in the 1990's) and I have learned that things do get better after high school, or even in high school.

One of my favorite activities we have done in our GSA is organizing the Day of Silence.  When we set up our table in the commons and hand out ribbons and instructions, we got almost 300 participants!

I really see our fight against bullying succeeding.  This also has helped in my own battle against bullying and harassment at our school.  I don't think I could have done it without the GSA at John R. Rogers High School.

In addition, I don't think we could have been as successful as we have been at making our school and safe and accepting place for all without the help and leadership of GLSEN.  They really helped shape who we are. - Teddie, club secretary I didn't know what GSA was or even if we had one when I started here.  So, my friend told me about the GSA at our school. I attended a meeting and after that day, I was a member, a part of a family, kind of scared of what would happen.  But I always had the support of our advisor, Ms. Silvey.  My first two years were rocky and we were really trying to just figure out what type of role we should have in our school.  Up until we found GLSEN, we saw all the things we could do to reach out to our school and community.

We started with holiday parties (Valentine's and Christmas) where we invited other high schools and even though we had a small turnout at first, we were starting to reach out and connect.  During my junior year, I became Vice President. That was a huge step for me.  I started being more involved with my club and our school.  We started writing to teachers and other staff members and thanking them for supporting us.  We also sent thank you notes to Starbucks for their support of Gay Marriage.  We marched in the PRIDE Parade with a giant banner.

We were really becoming visible and the more visible we became, the more powerful we became.

Let's just say the last four years in our GSA made me stronger and prouder, safer and truly loved. I couldn't have even imagined that when I first got to Rogers I would be a part of this community.  I can't thank our Advisor, Ms.Silvey, enough for letting me join and Rogers High School for supporting our GSA

-Jessica, co-president  

Christoph Sawyer

About Christoph Sawyer

GLSEN National: Communications Intern Summer 2013

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