The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

The Student News Site of Tompkins High School

The Nestline

Be Proud of Who You Are


After the last bell of the school day rings, some students rush home to study for tests, while others attend club meetings or participate in extracurricular activities. From an outsider’s point of view, most clubs at Tompkins look the same: a group of students, with a common interest, have a sponsor in which they discuss topics or create something that pertains to their club. Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is one club at Tompkins that does not quite fit this mold.


GSA provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. Students who identify as a different gender or sexual orientation benefit from GSA, because the club provides an accepting environment that they may not already have at home or in their community.


“Bullying is such a huge problem in society, especially for the LGBT community, so I think the club is really important and beneficial,” junior Isabella Manrique said.


Though some people in society may discriminate against the LGBT community, more and more people are accepting these individuals for who they are and showing their support. Throughout history, individuals who did not conform to society’s standards were considered ‘outsiders.’ This label did have a negative connotation, but in the 21st century being ‘different’ has became something to be proud of. Essentially, GSA exists to celebrate individual’s’ unique qualities.


“I really enjoy going to the club meetings, and I am happy to be a part of something that positively impacts our school,” Manrique said.


Tompkins is a safe, accepting environment for all students, despite their sexual identity or orientation. By allowing GSA to be a club at our high school, Tompkins is exploring diversity and a freedom of expression that thousands of high schools across the United States limit themselves from. People fear what they are not familiar with, thus there are multiple misconceptions about the LGBT community.


“Some people think we’re confused or going through a phase. People can definitely change, but we have valid identities and know who we are,” Manrique said.


Though these individuals may deviate from society’s ‘ideal’ heterosexual relationship, GSA stresses that they are normal people with the same rights and freedoms as anybody else. GSA’s goal is to educate people about social issues regarding the LGBT community and advocate for just policies that protect LGBT youth from harassment.


“People should attend the meetings, because it is eye-opening to hear about what LGBT people go through” Manrique said.


GSA meetings are held every other Tuesday and last about 30 minutes. The next meeting will be held on Nov. 8 in Stephanie Chronister’s room (2326).


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