Gay-Straight Alliances

The Gay-Straight Alliances, or GSA, are student organizations in schools that seek to establish acceptance, support, and a safe space for LGBTQI members of a school's (primarily student) population. They are very closely affiliated with GLSEN; without GLSEN's help, it is fair to assume that not nearly as many GSA chapters would have been started in their respective schools. GLSEN acts as an indespensible resource for GSAs all over the United States, and the GSAs in turn act as indespensible agents for change in their local communities.

Boston Latin School Gay-Straight Alliance

The BLS GSA was founded in 1994. It was primarily founded by Brian O Leary, one of the few openly gay students at BLS during that time (according to the memory of our faculty adviser, who was there). This was during his senior year, partially because of a rather openly homophobic latin teacher who no longer goes to our school. During the previous year, the Safe Schools Program for Gay and Lesbian Students happened, which also helped spur the formation of a GSA. The main goal of the GSA was, at that time, much the same as the new commission (the safe schools act mentioned above is often known as "The Governor's Commission")--to help support gay/lesbian students, to help highschools get better policies, and to raise awareness about homophobia. At the time, there weren't any major projects, or if there were we no longer have them on record, but one of the things which the GSA had were hot pink notebooks in which students could anonymously write about encountering homophobia or being harassed. In 1997 the GSA went to the Pride March in Washington DC. In recent years, some of the most major projects have been helping protest the WBC when it announced that it would protest our school because of BLS is, " fag-infested and pervert-run". BLS GSA has done the Day of Silence for over eight years to spread awareness throughout the school.

Interview with Maddy, President of BLS GSA

Transcript of the Interview