GSA Reactions: GSA elicits various reactions

Approximately 4.5 percent of teens identify themselves a part of the LGBTQ community.

In order to help represent this growing community, students, such as Zoe Mixon, senior, started the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) to provide a safe place for LGBTQ students and supporters.
GSA meets every Thursday in varying rooms and 7:30 a.m. Friday in the FLEX Room.

“I think that a lot of people are glad that we have the club and realize that it’s a great place for anyone to go to feel safe,” said club co-president, Zoe Mixon, senior. “In the club itself, there’s a growing sense of community and friendship among everyone.”

Mixon said she was nervous to start the club, fearing how the school community would respond, but with nearly 50 members, she is glad she followed through with the club’s establishment.

Potential Vandalism

The club has put up posters around the school, but five of the larger posters have been torn or drawn on. Mixon said she thinks the tears and marks were not done by accident.
“They’re people who tear down our posters and drag markers across them and stuff,” Mixon said. “I mean I don’t know if people were just trying to be cool or trying to show off to their friends, but it shows ignorance.”

Mixon said she worked with other members of the club to handle the situation. Rather than seek out discipline for those who may be responsible, the GSA is handling the issue internally.
“I was really upset because me and some of my friends put a lot of time and effort into those posters making them look really nice so that more people would join our club,” Mixon said. “We’re not gonna throw shade back at people or like attack people, but we’re just gonna make new posters and laminate them so that people can’t draw on them.”

Administrative Perspective

If the posters were indeed vandalized, Assistant Principal Rick Regina said the vandals would certainly receive punishment.

“As far as vandalism goes in the building, if it’s something that we catch and find to be malicious,” Regina said. “There is a discipline consequence.”

However, Regina said student response to the GSA has been rather supportive.

“At Mr. Mustang, there was a Mr. GSA, and I think he got as loud as an ovation as anyone,” Regina said. “In that regard, I think there has been a positive response to the club from the student body.”

Regina said the GSA helps better the school as a whole by getting students to unify and connect with the school community.

“The GSA is getting kids more involved in school and research shows that kids who are involved do better,” Regina said. “The fact that we have this club now means that these students are interested and forming a bond with their high school experience.”

Apathetic Reactions

McGuire Brown, senior, said he lacks a strong positive or negative emotion about the GSA.

“We are fairly apathetic about the club as long as they don’t flirt with us,” Brown said, “Whatever makes them happy, as long as they don’t mess with me.”

Despite being indifferent about the club, Brown said he is fine with gay marriage and supports the representation of LGBTQ students in school but with some apprehension.

“They should have a club and everything, but don’t try to convert people,” Brown said. “If a guy isn’t gay, he isn’t gay.”

Positive Feedback

Unlike Brown, Jillian Hyink, sophomore, fully supports the GSA.

“I see a lot of people who are in GSA who just need support from people who are close to them, like people at MHS,” Hyink said. “It helps to see support from people you see everyday and know that they are okay with who you are.”

Hyink said she was against any bullying of the GSA members and highly advises people to call out offenders.

Despite any negative feedback about the club, Hyink said she is happy that the club is present at MHS.

“Everyone in the GSA really cares about each other and it’s really refreshing to see that,” Hyink said.