GSA meets on National Coming Out Day


photo by Jaye Herrera

The GSA participated in the Lake Eola Pride Parade on Oct. 9. The club holds meetings every other Monday to create a safe space for all.

In recognition of National Coming Out Day, the GSA held their third meeting of the year on Oct. 11, speaking about how coming out is an important moment in the lives of many. Sophomore John* came out to his parents on this day in 2019 and he is happy to see the GSA honoring it. 

“I feel as if [National Coming Out Day] could give others the courage to accept themselves and come out to others,” John said.

To begin the meeting,  students gathered in a circle to open up to their peers about their preferred name and pronouns. Members also had the opportunity to discuss interesting facts about themselves and any relevant occurrences in their life, such as coming out or relationship status. 

“GSA is a safe space where I feel accepted,” GSA vice president Angelique Boles said. “It has given me room to have pride in my own identity.”

During the ice breaker, junior homecoming court candidate Gwen Shaw asked her girlfriend, junior Lexi Cunningham, to be her homecoming date. Both feel they have grown more secure in their relationship because of GSA.

“I thought that the accepting environment of GSA would be the perfect place to ask her [to homecoming],” Shaw said. 

In addition to school meetings and events, the GSA participates in various projects and parades throughout the community. On Saturday, Oct. 9, GSA members were encouraged to attend a Pride Parade held in Lake Eola. Additionally, they have a Linktree where students can get involved with different events and find resources for help if they are struggling.

“Students can get involved with the GSA and our projects by following our social media and contacting anyone on the board,” Boles said. “Everyone is welcome.” 

The GSA meets every other Monday in Julie Duncan’s room (7-202) from 2:30–3:30 p.m., allowing students to feel accepted and appreciated among their peers. Boles feels that this is only the beginning of the impact they will have on the school.

“GSA has had a very positive impact on our school so far,” they said. “From encouraging teachers to ask for preferred pronouns to holding meetings that give kids the space to be who they are, there have been quite a few improvements compared to previous school years.”

*Names have been changed upon request.