LIFESTYLE & LOCAL CULTURE

pride month FEATURE

BELLEFONTE AREA HIGH SCHOOL GSA STUDENTS CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR COMMUNITY

WRITTEN BY MOLLY MOLNAR.

GSA is a nationally recognized club with a presence in schools throughout the country. GSA stands for Gender Sexuality Alliance but was previously known as The Gay Straight Alliance. It changed its name in 2016 to be more inclusive. Bellefonte High School has a GSA whose mission includes educating students and faculty in the Bellefonte Area School District on diversity, including but not limited to gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and straight student issues. Bellefonte GSA has hosted a variety of events to promote a more inclusive environment within the school.

One event that GSA sponsored was a pronoun pin distribution event. GSA students created pronoun pins with a variety of options to meet the needs of most students. If a student did not see an option that fit them, they could request a custom pin to meet their needs. Students volunteered in the morning before school to hand out pins to students who wanted them free of charge. Over one hundred pins were handed out during this event.

Another event that Bellefonte’s GSA hosted was the national Day of Silence. According to the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network website, “The GLSEN Day of Silence is a national student-led demonstration where LGBTQ students and allies all around the country—and the world—take a vow of silence to protest the harmful effects of harassment and discrimination of LGBTQ people in schools.” Bellefonte students volunteered to take a vow of silence for one day to take a stand against harassment of LGBTQ people in their community.


When asked, “How has GSA benefitted you?” Club member Katherine replied, “GSA gives me more confidence.” Another club member, Chelsea, stated, “I feel more open around GSA members.” Some GSA members said that they have never joined a club until GSA and that it has really helped them be more involved in school activities.


Bellefonte GSA had its last meeting of the school year on May 25th, but they are hoping to hit the ground running in the 22/23 school year with more activities and opportunities to educate the community on LGBTQ issues.