By Gabrielle White
This year has proven to be tough on many groups of people in Huntsville, especially students. Students of all ages and schools were required to adjust to online learning during lockdown, and now modified schedules as schools reopen. Despite these challenges, the cloudy sky brightens and a rainbow shines down on Huntsville High School (HHS) for the reformation of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA)!
A GSA once existed at Huntsville High as recently as the 2018/2019 school year, but slowly dissolved due to lack of members. Now run by Ms. Erin Potts, the GSA has been reestablished with fourteen members excited to spark change.
When asked about the goals of the group, Potts said, “As society continues to progress, there will always be circumstances where diverse communities face challenges. Learning to support one another when we face those challenges as a group rather than as individuals is the first step in creating change in society.”
The GSA holds meetings every Wednesday at 11:45 a.m. through a video chat platform called Google Meet.
The GSA is an all-inclusive safe space for people of all sexualities and gender identification to meet, hang out, and raise awareness of the LGBTQ+ community’s existence. Heterosexual and cisgendered people (or allies) are also welcome to join and support these efforts. Potts has also invited students from other schools and alumni who are seeking a safe space to join the virtual meetings. One participating student, Emma-Lynn O’Neil explained the GSA is necessary for “people in the [Huntsville] community to understand we do exist” and spread love to more diverse groups.
Huntsville has progressed in the last few years, but the GSA works hard to address remaining issues and discusses how their small group can maintain the progression in the school and the town of Huntsville.
The GSA began their journey with an Instagram account (@huntsville_high_gsa.official) to inform members of the school and the town of what happens within the LGBTQ+ community here at home and around the world. Another student of the GSA, Ace, expressed the importance of “education [in]a small town… on LGBTQ+ things” to raise awareness.
Muskoka Pride also has an Instagram account (@muskokapride) where the Huntsville High GSA will share their efforts as well as initiate their own. Starting December 9, 2020, the Huntsville High GSA began posting a different pride flag every school day to educate themselves and the public about what each represents and how they came to be. They began with the original rainbow flag, and are working their way through the LGBTQ+ acronym, finishing with the ally flag.
For more information, contact Erin Potts at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow @huntsville_high_gsa.official on Instagram.
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