Lancer Spotlight 12/14/21: GSA helps others with loving cards

Jessica+Baker+holds+two+of+the+GSA+cards.+

Rowan Grob

Jessica Baker holds two of the GSA cards.

by Rowan Grob, Reporter

Club member grabbed their paper and markers. Making cards was their goal. These cards will be going to the other GSA clubs in Frederick County schools.

With 80 members, the GSA (gender and sexuality alliance, also known as a gay-straight alliance) is the largest club at Linganore. About 5% of the student population is in the GSA. However, the other schools in Frederick County are still growing their membership.  

GSA advisor Jessica Baker saw this problem and decided to give some support to the others in Frederick County. 

“A friend of mine told me that their GSA was just getting started, and they were getting bullied and harassed. Our GSA is nice and the biggest GSA in FCPS. So I decided to help,” said Baker.

In order to spread positivity, Baker instructed the teens to write positive messages on their cards. 

“We wanted to connect people with similar interests, and we wanted to show people that there was a stronger force than they think,” said Baker.  

Last year, the GSA had a similar effort to bring together kids from different schools who had common interests by doing a pen pal program. 

In the future, Baker would like to hold a picnic at Baker Park so that kids could put a face to the name of the people they’re talking to. As well as that, Baker is planning another pride prom in the spring for members of the GSA. 

Child Trends reports that GSAs are growing in every state with the exception of Alaska, Mississippi, and Oklahoma.

Reports from ScienceDirect.com, state that there is clear evidence that GSAs can help limit the percentage of identity-related inequality in school experiences. A report based on data from the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System documented that 34% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual students were reported to be bullied at school, compared to the 19% of heterosexual students. 

Yet another national study of LGBTQ+ youth found that 89% had experienced at least one type of victimization.  

 In a GSA, students are able to learn and talk about, as well as educate others, on issues surrounding sexual orientation, gender identity, and any issues surrounding lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, queer, and/or questioning students in the LGBTQ+ community.  Much of the membership is made up of cisgender and/or heterosexual students who want to be supportive. 

Seeing as students are often victimized on account of their gender identity or sexual orientation, GSA’s are a great helping hand and step forward for the LGBTQ+ community as well as schools.