SBRHS’s Gay Straight Alliance Club

Ryan Silverman, Editor

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June is Pride Month, and no club is more excited than the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at SBRHS.

“So far we have been selling ribbons for a dollar in the cafeteria, every lunch for the past week and a half.” said AJ Nascimento, president of the GSA, ” A bunch of us are going to a pride fest in Providence.”

The GSA meets at least once a month and sometimes more depending.  Ms. Nassiff is the advisor for the club.  She has been the advisor for three years and the club has been in the school for around eight to nine years.  Each meeting usually has around fifteen members attend.

“The club was started to promote solidarity and unity between those of the LGBTQ community or their allies in the school and those who might not fully understand what the LGBTQ youth are about,” said Nascimento.  Nassiff added, “We bring awareness to the LGBTQ community and we promote inclusion. We run a couple different programs throughout the year.  We’ve gone into some of the health classes to do an awareness factual-type educational session.”

“I feel like one of the things we’ve experienced in the last year is the whole issue of transgender and people just not really understanding what that is.” Nassiff continued,  “We have taken that as part of one of our purposes of just educating people.  We find that education is so important when it comes to such topics because people just a lot of the times don’t know what it means to be transgender and how that experience is for the person that is going through a transition change.”

The GSA goes on a variety of field trips as well throughout the year.  “We’ve taken field trips to Bridgewater State University as part of the MARC Youth Summit (MARC is Massachusetts Aggression Reduction Center); we make a ninety-second PSA every year and there is a different prompt every year.  This year’s prompt was inclusion and we joined with the middle school GSA,” said Nascimento.

“We’ve also taken a trip to the pride center at Bridgewater State University, which was a separate field trip where we actually joined some alumni of SBRHS and learned about what the pride center is like at the college level.” Nassiff said, “It was very interesting and the students that are part of the pride center were giving advice to the high school kids around college and what to expect and what to look for in a college.  We learned a lot.”

Although the LGBTQ community often faces hatred around the world, both Nascimento and Nassiff agreed that the SBRHS community is very welcoming, “I can speak on behalf on what I have observed as school adjustment counselor and the GSA advisor that I feel that our high is a very welcoming and safe community.” Nassiff said,  “Just from my observations I find that students are very accepting of each other, it really does not matter how they identify.” She added later, “I find our staff to be extremely accepting and very welcoming of the LGBTQ community.  I am very proud of our students and faculty because of that.”

All and all, the GSA is a club that is great for its members and the school.  Nassiff explained, “I find the students within the group are so incredibly supportive of one another and it’s a safe place for many students to feel open to sharing how they experience life.  I find it to be a very friendly environment that is very joyful.”

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