GSA needs your support

GSA+needs+your+support

Raelynn Watkins, Contributing Writer

My name is RaeLynn Watkins, I am the founder of Wyoming’s GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance), and I’m angry.

You see, I started our school’s GSA all by myself, spending about $270 of my own money on snacks for each meeting, personal journals for each member, t-shirts, tye dye kits, and boxes of candy. Most of this was paid for from fundraising. We did not need much outside funding. We spent a week selling shirts, and many days selling chocolate. We have gotten little support.

The most unfortunate part about all this is that the beautiful people who are a part of the club deserve the support. The club is accepting of all ages, identities, and sexualities. An undeniable sense of energy fills meetings. Meetings are filled with enormous amounts of laughter. Sadly, do not want to be associated with something labeled gay.

A 2015 study found that 34% of queer students were bullied on school property, 28% electronically. In the same year, 18% experienced physical dating abuse and had been forced to have sexual intercourse. In 2016 one-third of gay and bisexual students have attempted suicide, and 43% considered it. These statistics don’t even include members of the trans community in which 42% of female trans teens attempted suicide, 46% for trns males, and 33% never told peers or family members about thoughts of suicide.

Those numbers tell me that people of the LGBTQ+ community are in need of our support. For this reason, I have dedicated my senior year to Wyoming’s new GSA, making a Facebook page and Instagram account, printing out flyers, running meetings every Tuesday, and hosting group activities like tie-dying. I have a passion for giving every ounce of support I can to this community, especially the people here at our high school that are apart of it. Why don’t you?