GSA Promotes Action and Acceptance



The Genders and Sexualities Club meets in the CCRC every Monday after school.

Neal Waites, Features Editor

WOODBURY — Nonnewaug High has many different people with many different backgrounds, many of whom have a club or community that allows them to socialize and make friendships. For some here at Nonnewaug, their community lies in the Gender Sexuality Alliance.

“Gender Sexuality Alliance is just a program to help make the school more inclusive,” GSA president Sage Samuelson said. “Our mission statement basically states that we want our school to be a safer place and a better environment for LGBTQ+ members of our community and we also want to better educate the general population of our school.”

Samuelson said the club tries to mix enjoyment with action.

“It’s really fun. It’s basically social club meets social activism club,” Samuelson said. “We hope to gain a level of respect in the school seeing as there has been a lack of respect in our community recently. … We practice a lot of different things in order to make our club a safer space for everyone, not just LGBTQ+ students but others as well.” 

Among the club’s upcoming initiatives is a fundraiser to support The Trevor Project, a nonprofit dedicated to suicide prevention in the LGBTQ+ community.

“Suicide rates for LGBTQ+ teens are four times higher than those who are not,” Samuelson said. “We focus a lot on mental health, mental advocacy, and emotional and mental well-being.”

While it may not be the biggest club, GSA is certainly a close one.

“It used to be a lot more hectic but it sort of quelled down and became a close-knit group of people,” Samuelson continued.

Isabella Scala, a freshman at Nonnewaug, said that the GSA program has “given me a lot of friendship opportunities and it’s let me form relationships. It’s always given me a way to be comfortable in my own skin. We do a lot of self-care, checking up on each other, planning after-school activities. They have hung up signs promoting the clubs, started fundraising for multiple organizations, and hosted get togethers various times.”

Unfortunately, many people who attend the club have faced bigotry, homophobia and hate speech.

“I’ve heard a couple of people make comments that I’ve overheard,” Scala said. “I’ve heard people say the f-word towards both me and others.” 

But any harassment that they’ve received hasn’t stopped members of the group, said junior Campbell Bologna.

“We may be fairly small but small and mighty always win,” Bologna said.