By Maya H.
Change is scary. Moving to a new school, introducing yourself to a stranger, applying for a job without knowing you’ll get it: pushing the seams of life as you consistently know it is daunting. Even more scary? Trying to make changes that affect more than just you. Involvement in a movement involves so much possibility, passion, and hope, but can also come with rejection, confusion, and feeling lost. Being involved in a movement can be scary. But, with the right community and support, all the good outweighs any bad.
When it comes to the GSA movement, that community easily comes in the form of the GSA Network. Registering your school’s GSA unlocks a treasure trove of resources that are seemingly infinite, resources that help you on your journey to a bolder role in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights. When I first began attending my school’s GSA meetings, I couldn’t imagine myself doing anything more than sitting in a classroom, discussing current events with friends and other clubgoers. I was intimidated by how much more everyone around me knew about queer theory, wasn’t sure if I could handle a leadership position, and felt vastly undeveloped in knowledge about LGBTQ+ matters.
Throughout the first few months of my involvement in my school’s GSA, however, I was sent links to GSA Network educational meetings, applications for the Youth Council cohort, and PDFs that outlined what students and educators could do to provide support to queer and trans students during and outside of school hours. My GSA’s leadership pushed me to ask questions, speak in meetings, and advocate for my rights on campus. They helped me grow stronger in my passion, and more importantly, my voice.
Years later, I’m still being exposed to opportunities made possible only by joining the GSA Network community. I continually learn new aspects of intersectional activism, still am exposed to new opportunities to step up as a youth leader, and meet new people who are nothing but supportive and encouraging. The sting of being the least experienced in a room has lost some of its scare and has become more of an opportunity to share a younger perspective and soak in an older one.
The work we do on our trip to queer liberation is not easy. It has its fair share of disappointment, long hours, and angry cries. And while there isn’t a sure cure for these downsides of this extremely important work, finding a network to raise your spirits, encourage you to take a break when needed, and wipe away your tears most certainly helps alleviate some of the pain and replace it with fond memories and new friends. No matter where you’re at in your GSA journey, registering your GSA with GSA Network will provide a puzzle piece of that community.
You can register your GSA at gsanetwork.org/gsa-registration