The Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) began selling rainbow ribbons as a fundraiser to encourage Heritage staff and students to show their support for all students including those in the LGBTQ community.
When students become members of the Gay Straight Alliance, they sign a confidentiality agreement to help students feel safe knowing that the things they discuss will stay within the club. “There are a lot of people who may not feel comfortable sharing their identity yet or have not yet come out to their parents. This is a step we want to help them take as a club,” co-president senior Zach Dishinger said. The club also includes students who show their support for the community even though they may not identify as a part of it.
The Co-Presidents Zach Dishinger and senior Alycia Cypress wanted to raise money for The Trevor Project but didn’t want to do another run-of-the-mill bake sale. “We really wanted to stand out with this fundraiser. We wanted to do something that would not only spread awareness but also remind people that they belong,” Dishinger said. If you spot a GSA member or see rainbow ribbons in their bags, you can show your support for the LGBTQ community.
Dishinger hopes the fundraiser will continue in years to come. “This is the first year we are doing it, but I think it is a great thing to be passed down through the club,” he said.
This year, GSA hopes to share meetings with the HOPE Club, Progressive Generations and the ACT Club, allowing clubs who support similar causes to join together. Together, Dishinger hopes to get guest speakers to speak at the meetings. GSA meets every other Tuesday at 3:15 in room 4112. Every meeting, they discuss the best or worst parts of the day while having a supportive audience.
“GSA’s message is that no matter who you are or what you’re going through, you belong at American Heritage. If you feel different or misjudged, you have to stay true to who you are. We hope to inspire others to do this,” Dishinger said.