GSA Provides a Safe Haven for Students


Maverick Martin

Mrs. Platt provides a welcoming space in room 208 for GSA members.

The GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) is a safe place for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies. Anyone is welcome and supported in the club. It is a place for everyone to come together and have fun. This club focuses on the members and their needs, and making sure everyone feels safe and understood. GSA secretary Edda Gilbert (she/they) (12) said, “In the GSA we normally talk about how to make the school a safer space, we help students who have been targeted. This year we want to focus more on the members.”  

Membership in GSA has grown steadily since the club became officially recognized in 2019. Vice-President Lark Shrank (11) (he/they), who has been a member since their freshman year, said “When I first joined it was during the pandemic, and we met on a Zoom call before school on Wednesdays. There would be at most 3 people there and there was nothing to talk about really. Then I came in my sophomore year and the sign-ups just exploded.”

As membership has grown so has the club’s influence at Pine Creek. Lark Shrank said “Harassment is rampant at the school. All of the GSA kids have worked together to make this school a better, safer environment. So, things are slowly becoming better for us.” Kilo Gleason-Afaisen (he/them) (11) said, “Since I’ve come to Pine Creek in my sophomore year I’ve seen a lot of improvement from our community at Pine Creek. Being more widely accepted, harassment has gone down for us but it’s still present and it’s something we’re working on to completely eradicate in this school.” Because of the bullying and harassment at the school, members have found a safe space within the GSA.

GSA officers are planning on doing other events with different clubs in the school. Shrank said, “We’re already planning to do something with a German club this spring and we’re trying to work with other clubs as well.” Gleason-Afaisen said, “We want to expand and make it easier to access for students who might have parents who are homophombic which is something we’re currently working on. We’re planning on very soon registering with the official GSA united states program to allow our students to have more resources.”

If you need any information on the club, you can contact the club’s sponsor Mrs. Platt in room 208.