Gender and Sexuality Alliance Offers Safe Haven for MBHS Students

Taina Torres, Staff Reporter

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BROOKLYN, NY Every Wednesday at 3:15, room G22A comes to life as a group of talkative, bubbly MBHS students pours in and plops themselves down on top of desks, chat amongst themselves, and eagerly pass around giant bags of chips, boxes of cookies, and homemade cupcakes. The students of Millennium Brooklyn’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (formerly Gay Straight Alliance) are bouncing off the walls, full of  enthusiasm and cannot wait for club to begin, but what is it that gets them so excited?

According to Ms. Joslin, Quantitative Research teacher and leader of GSA, the club is “a place to eat snacks, talk about things relating to genders and sexualities, maybe hear from a guest speaker, and maybe plan an event like the Day of Silence or Trans Day of Remembrance.” In previous years, the club has organized the Day of Silence, where students go an entire day without speaking to raise awareness for anti-LGBTQ+ harrassment and discrimination in schools and the silencing effect it has on LGBTQ+ students. They have also organized an Ally Week, as stated in the orange MBHS club brochure. In addition to all of this, GSA is a safe space for many MBHS students to come be their truest selves without fear of judgement. Aaron Kirshenbaum, a junior who has been a member since his freshman year, says that GSA helped him find a solid network of people who are going through the same thing as him, and who care about issues relating to the LGBTQ+ community. “I saw it as an opportunity to meet other queer students,” he says. “There’s a sense of warmth when we all have something in common relating to our identity.”

Although the club is important to LGBTQ+ students, especially those who may come from intolerant families and do not have a strong support system, GSA wants to emphasize that they are open to all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. “GSA doesn’t care what gender pronouns you use, or who you are or aren’t sexually attracted to” Ms. Joslin says. “If you’re a nice person who accepts the reality that not all people are like you, then you should join.”

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Gender and Sexuality Alliance Offers Safe Haven for MBHS Students