(I'm very sorry if I do anything wrong because I just got here and everything is so awesome, it's confusing.)
At my current school, we didn't have sex education, students make homophobic comments during class and no one cares, teachers seem to be rather uncomfortable with queer issues - you see what I'm trying to say. But I personally think that it is very important to give people, young people, the chance to form opinions about... things. About people who don't identify themselves as heterosexual, for example. And you can only form an opinion by yourself if you are confronted with different opinions on this topic, different statements and if you get a chace to talk, discuss and ask. So I think it would be extremely necessary and amazing to have some sort of "panel" where people come together and talk about non-heterosexual topics, ask their questions. At my current school something like that would be... unimagineable but: I'm going to have a change of school after summer. That's great in a lot of ways but it's also terrifying. I don't know anyone, I'll be the new kid, repeating the year, I'm socially awkward and tend to scare people... You see. LGBTQ rights are important to me and it's okay for me if people know.
But are the people okay with this? Would it make things unnecesarry hard and complicated? Is it safer to just have private talks? Is it just stupid to confront people who don't know me with something so "controversial"? Will teachers treat me differently?
Maybe one of you made a compareable experience or has an advice for me how to deal with this issue. Or has a general statement concerning GSAs at schools. I'd love to have and even lead an GSA but... gnah, you know, humans, they make everything so hard! And I'm scared!
(Sorry for any spelling/grammar mistakes.)
This is a link to the organization GLSEN, they have resources on starting and running GSAs. I hope this helps. Good Luck.
Hey, I think it would be really great if you started a GSA:) Before I started high school, there wasn't a GSA club & I feel that the presence of one, no matter how popular it is, is important. Just having people know that there's a safe place is very effective. Good luck!
I started a GSA with some of my friends this year. Even if it's just you and your friends, having a GSA sends a message to the school board that says there are accepting people at the school, which might be all someone needs. I had actually been meaning to start a GSA for years before it happened, but I wasn't charismatic enough to make it happen (I am REALLY shy). So halfway through my senior year we got a meeting with the principal and she said it was a great idea and we filled out some paperwork. The tricky thing is finding a teacher to support you. Our adviser was a substitute teacher who was constantly at our school. If you are going to a new school, look for their existing GSA. If none exists, try meeting over the summer with the principal sometime in August and ask for suggestions about advisers. Principals should be generally accepting (they have to be!)
A few more randoms: We met during lunch in a classroom way off to the side of the building. Starting a GSA and telling everyone you started a GSA kind of puts you out there, even as a an ally. I never got confronted about it, but my other friends are much more open about these kinds of things. For some reason I found it easier to stop gay jokes and "that's so gay" crap when I knew I had friends doing the same. Also, our GSA was started by the same 4 people who also run the auditorium equipment, art club and build robots. So we knew each other really well. Since we met during lunch we usually brought food, usually rainbow-colored deserts.
I had one teacher treat me differently, in the form of increased gay jokes. "Oh here comes that queer girl" and I just tried to rock it. It was never malicious. But i have heard of other kids who's teachers actually graded them down for being out. If you can somehow prove this, bring it up. Switch classes, whatever. Teachers are not allowed to discriminate like that.
Safety really depends on the atmosphere of your school. At my school, I think only 1 or 2 guys are out, and 4-5 girls. There are about 1000 people at my school, about 25% female. I think there is a safety issue (but the main aggressor just graduated, so we'll see). Having private conversations is great, but I really believe that having a GSA solidifies the image of your school as accepting and open. If all the conversations are in private, some people won't have them, and usually they are the ones that really need it.
Sorry for the lengthy answer but I keep coming up with more things to say!