A new year brings new change to MV GSA

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A new year brings new change to MV GSA

Andrea Schlitt

 

Previously known as Gay-Straight Alliance, MV GSA changed its name over the summer to Gender-Sexuality Alliance to better represent the club’s diversity.

The decision was determined through an informal vote on MV GSA’s Facebook page, on which members decided that the new name was better suited and more inclusive of everyone in the club.

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While the letters “GSA” remain the same, the addition of “gender” and “sexuality” hold a significant meaning. Senior Nikki Stuart, co-president of MV GSA, identifies as non-binary, a gender category for those who don’t identify as exclusively male or female and thus uses they/them/theirs pronouns.

“I always felt bothered by the fact that I wasn’t represented in just the name of the club,” Stuart said. “I felt like a lot of other people weren’t being represented as well, and Gender-Sexuality Alliance just encompasses all of that variation.”

MV GSA was created to educate and support LGBT+ youth in MVHS and the community. Their goal is to raise awareness of different gender identities and sexualities by holding multiple awareness events throughout the year.Gender and Sexuality (3)

“It’s kind of a reflection of the variation that exists,” Stuart said. “It’s just a way of bringing to light some experiences that have been hidden.”

Some events last year included Day of Silence and National Coming Out Day, both of which had large participation from MVHS students and staff and provided eye-opening experiences to those who attended.

Junior Janae Zhang, MV GSA’s public relations officer, believes that our community is open-minded and accepting for the most part, with a few exceptions. Sophomore Kavin Sivakumar, a member of MV GSA and an ally to the LGBT+ community, believes that we still need to work together as a community to raise awareness.

“It is very important for our community [to raise awareness],” Sivakumar said. “A lot of people still don’t understand what it means to be a certain gender or sexuality.”

Spanish teacher Joyce Fortune, the advisor for MV GSA, believes that we live in a progressive population, but the next step is for the older generations to be more open-minded and accepting of the diversity within MVHS.

“We’re moving into a time where gender is more of an issue, and it’s less about just sexuality,” Fortune said.

MV GSA’s goals for the future remain the same— they seek to gain more members who want to be involved and learn how to be good allies, to offer resources and support and to create a community where people can go to feel included and welcomed.

“We as a society have to learn to accept people’s gender or sexuality,” Zhang said. “Accepting that is one step closer to accepting who that person is.”