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All About the GSA

OLIVIA EDIC

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You might hear about the Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) on the morning announcements or see posters in the hallway, but what is the GSA?

The GSA meets every Wednesday after school in Mrs. CC’s room, and all are welcome. The meeting this Wednesday hosted about 11 students, but attendance fluctuates weekly. Its first order of business was taking attendance and getting snacks.

Students then sat in a circle and went around the room stating their names, grade levels, specified pronouns, and how their weeks have been going so far. Once all students had a chance to speak and introduce themselves, the co-presidents of the GSA gave a quick synopsis of the previous week’s meeting. The co-presidents explained that in their last meeting they discussed event planning. This planning included in-school events for the GSA, such as Halloween and Valentine’s Day celebrations, and events outside of school like Pride Week in Boston, which is closer to the end of the school year.

The co-presidents also made a point to explain the rules that the GSA follows: using correct pronouns, maintaining a safe space for its members, respecting privacy, and respecting one another.

When discussing the topic of pronouns, members of the GSA collectively felt that Pentucket teachers tend to assume pronouns based on the individual’s name. Additionally, one student described the student population of Pentucket as being “unaccepting” and “intolerant” of members of the LGBTQ+ community. However, they believe that the informative session Pentucket teachers had before the 2017 school year began helped educate faculty on being conscious and supportive of LGBTQ+ students.

After discussing pronouns, the GSA concluded its meeting on a light-hearted note with a game of Cards Against Humanity.

On the GSA’s official website, it explains that its goal is to “provide support, build community, and take action to create change.” If you’re interested in being a part of this, the GSA’s next meeting is Wednesday, October 4!

Link to GSA’s official website: https://gsanetwork.org/resources/building-your-gsa/what-gsa

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “All About the GSA”

  1. Anon on September 29th, 2017 3:58 pm

    ” When discussing the topic of pronouns, members of the GSA collectively felt that Pentucket teachers tend to assume pronouns based on the individual’s name. ”

    I am just curious, is there something wrong with this? It is a natural human response to assume “pronouns” based on ones sex. You cannot really blame teachers/staff/students for doing this, as they are doing nothing wrong. If I look at a person who looks like a male, I am going to assume that the person has the he/him pronoun, as that is most likely what the person is. You cannot expect everyone to stop assuming gender, assumptions are part of human nature..

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    I know that assuming is part of human nature. But the whole premise is to be accepting of those with something other than your general assumption. I can see your confusion. For example if an individual looks like someone who would use he/him pronouns but you’re not sure, I suggest confronting them rather than assuming. To them it is more disrespectful to assume rather than confront them and politely ask what they would prefer to be called. And what the GSA believes is that teachers should maybe ask their classes what pronouns they prefer rather than possibly disrespecting someone. And if they do assume originally, they should probably step back and double check with their class to see if they got anyone’s pronouns wrong.

    [Reply]

    Anonymous Reply:

    to answer your question

    In understand that it is human nature to assume genders and pronouns, almost everybody does it. The problem Olivia and the people of the GSA is trying to point out is the right way of going about it. If you are confused by someone’s gender or pronouns, it’s best to ask the person instead of just assuming so everyone can get along just fine. As a transgender person, I find it stressful to continuously correct people to the point where I get too overwhelmed or embarrassed to correct the person. It makes me feel pointed out or not passing enough as a male student. This happens a lot, and I never have been asked by my peers (excluding GSA) about my pronouns or gender. I hope this helped you understand.

    [Reply]

    Leah Reply:

    I’m sorry for coming right out and saying this (actually, I’m not) but it would be lovely if you could not say that. I myself am a proud part of the LGBTQ community, and hearing people say things like that is absolutely horrific. It doesn’t matter if you’re male, female, or non binary, we all have the right to be whatever we want. Its people like you that make coming out as whatever you are so hard. We’re all human. Personally, I think anyone who comes out Is a strong and wonderful person, who deserves YOUR respect. It would be great if you could just keep your opinions to yourself, because everyone has the right to be themselves. I know this is redundant, but I don’t know how to be any clearer. If I came up to you and started assuming your gender, and using the wrong pronouns, you wouldn’t like it. Give others the same respect. If you can’t do that, maybe you should go back to kindergarten, and learn the whole “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all” thing again.

    [Reply]

    Anon Reply:

    “It would be great if you could just keep your opinions to yourself”

    That is interesting, this is a medium for discussion, and here you are trying to shut down exactly that. Leah, you do realize that discussion is vital for solving any problem in society? I stated how it is human nature for people to make assumptions based on physical appearance , which is entirely true. The intention of that statement was not to be disrespectful, but it is just how society works today. Now, another (slightly more tolerable) person brought up some points regarding what I said.

    He stated — ” it’s best to ask the person instead of just assuming so everyone can get along just fine. ”

    Now this is a point I can agree with. If someone is unclear on a persons gender, just ask them, simple enough right? Does that mean people should stop assuming entirely? No. I know many people would be offended if I asked what gender they were, some people would be offended if you couldn’t tell their gender from the outside. That is the issue with this whole thing. No matter what you say, you can offend someone, someplace. That is why I think if someone misgenders you, you simply correct them and move on.

    [Reply]

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All About the GSA