An Ally Nearby

PHS opens a new community for LGBTQ students and their allies

Colin Mackenzie, Staff Member

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To many students who are part of the LGBTQ+ community, finding others who are going through a similar walk of life can be hard. Thankfully, a place to find a warm welcoming community is coming to Portage High School.

The new GSA (Gender Sexuality Alliance) branch at PHS will serve as a place for people on the LGBTQ+ spectrum and their straight allies to meet and discuss topics relating to the LGBT Community. Ellen Cooper, Co-supervisor for GSA, had a few things to say about the core of the GSA program.

“Students can come, feel safe, and have a community and their straight allies can come and participate as well,” said Cooper. “GSA is a place for allies, community, and activism. It’s a place where all those things are able to combine into a beautiful student led way that allows for them to impact and support each other.”

GSA isn’t just a club exclusive to Portage, it is a national organization built to promote activism for the LGBTQ+ community. The club promotes a better social atmosphere for the members and the school itself, looking to clear the air on LGBTQ stigma.

“It had been one of my goals since the beginning to bring the organization [GSA] to our school. I think it’s important for every school across the country to have a space for students that kind of community to be safe and to feel at home and have that kind of community,” said Cooper.

The GSA will meet every Thursday starting at 3 p.m. in Room 153. It’s open to anyone: gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, or anything in between.

“We provide a community to let people be who they are in order to help them be safe, make better decisions, teach them positive coping mechanisms, and have some fun along the way,” said Cooper.