September 13, 2011
>Strong Student Leaders Stand Up to Challenges That Could Otherwise Get in Their Way
Recently, Tempest shared some of the issues faced by her peers and the challenges her Gay-Straight-Alliance (GSA) has had to overcome; both of which were catalysts for her wanting to become a Student Ambassador.
At my school, it’s not unusual for people to whisper when a LGBT student passes. Sometimes, parents of LGBT students are shunned by their neighbors. It’s not uncommon for GSA and Day of Silence posters to be torn down.
As the president of my GSA it’s hard to see our work get torn down. The bullying can get pretty bad, but it’s manageable (although usually it’s the person getting bullied who manages it). There are polices in place to protect LGBT students, but teachers rarely enforce them.
Promoting a safer school environment for LGBT students can be tough. The GLSEN Safe Space Kit is an easy and simple way to jumpstart the process.
With the help of GLSEN, things are starting to look up. Our GSA is growing, and people are starting to speak up more when another student says something like, “That’s so gay.” That is bullying, even if the teachers do not agree.
When people put me down, it inspires me to stand up. Their attitudes and assumptions need to change, not me. If I don’t help that along, who will?
That’s why I applied for the GLSEN Student Ambassadors Program. I was so inspired when I learned about people traveling the nation speaking for LGBT youth that I knew there was nothing I’d rather do. At the summit, I learned skills that are already helping me be a more successful student leader.
I want to say I was part of moving this nation towards acceptance, understanding and equality for something I believe in. And I want to inspire others to do the same.
Are you a part of a GSA? Stand up and be counted! Take part in the 2011 GSA Census and get a chance to win a $150 gift certificate to buy Day of Silence, Ally Week or other GLSEN merchandise for your GSA.