“Honestly, you don’t have to be gay to join.” GSA president Izzy Levy comments. Not really knowing what our school’s Gay-Straight Alliance was, I went to a recent meeting and found a well-attended gathering with nothing out of the ordinary. A group of open-minded students, both gay and straight, gathers weekly to discuss national and local current events and issues affecting gay rights and equality. Meetings also consist of planning events to raise awareness for LGBTQ causes and provide support to students who need it. With events like Gay May Day, Day of Silence, and LGBT Movie Night, the Montclair High GSA has successfully reached out to students locally and raised money for LGBT people in need. Last year’s Gay May Day Benefit Concert, featuring student performers, raised $800 for the Ali Forney Center for LGBT Homeless Youth in New York City.
The Gay-Straight Alliance meetings (usually in Room 509) are every Monday and are open to anyone who feels like coming, whenever they are available. Club members also point out that if GSA meetings aren’t an option, there are other LGBT organizations in the Montclair area, specifically Garden State Equality which holds monthly Youth Caucuses. These Youth Caucus meetings are held at First Congregational Church on South Fullerton Ave. When asked what she would like the MHS community to know, GSA’s president said, “GSA isn’t just about gay students. We welcome EVERYONE. In fact, we have a majority of straight students. It’s a club to discuss prejudice and inequality while providing support, so all students are encouraged to come.” Go check it out!