In honor of LGBTQ+ History Month, student leaders Daniel B. ’22, Rosemary M. ’21 and faculty advisor Mr. Esher entered the Zoom room to participate in a candid Q&A about everything from The Hun School’s Gender and Sexuality Awareness club to increasing LGBTQ+ visibility on campus to the significance of this month in the LGBTQ+ community.
Q: When did you join the GSA club?
Rosemary: I joined GSA when I was a freshman because I’m part of the LGBTQ+ community and I was really excited to see that there was a group on campus that was promoting and celebrating my community.
Daniel: I joined because I had a lot of friends who were also joining, and I stepped into my leadership role because I thought I could help think of creative ways to increase LGBTQ+ visibility on campus and also be a voice for kids in the club.
Q: Since joining GSA, in what ways has the club evolved?
Daniel: I think we have succeeded in having more people listen to us. Especially now more than ever, people are understanding that every voice not only deserves to be heard but needs to be heard in order to make Hun a better place. In years past, GSA had just been another club that met occasionally and had one major event a year, but as of late we have really stepped into an activism role.
Q: What are some things that GSA club is doing to increase visibility on campus?
Daniel: This year we are really looking forward to having guest speakers and Hun alumni talk to our club about their experiences being at Hun and being part of the LGBTQ+ community. And also, making sure that everyone knows that this club isn’t just for people in the LGBTQ+ community, it’s also a place for activists and allies. But most importantly, we are starting the conversation and that right there is a huge step for us.
Q: How is the GSA club celebrating LGBTQ+ History Month on campus?
Daniel: This is only the 15th anniversary of the designation of the LGBTQ+ History Month, so we created a slideshow presentation that plays on the TVs in the Heart of Hun that shows different celebrities in the LGBTQ+ community.
Rosemary: You wouldn’t expect some of the celebrities on the slideshow to be in the LGBTQ+ community and maybe one of the celebrities is someone a student may admire and now they know that they are LGBTQ+. It really helps normalize it and start a conversation.
Q: Mr. Esher, as a faculty advisor, what is your role in the GSA club?
Mr. Esher: My role is absolutely to be their support and to ensure that the vision of the students moves forward. If there’s ever a time where they feel that they have come across roadblocks and they feel like maybe they don’t have all the tools to move forward, that’s where I come in. I’m always so proud of them for how they handle themselves while talking to the adults on campus about something that is so important to them and also really emotional.
Q: Daniel and Rosemary, what would you say to students who are interested in joining GSA club but may be hesitant?
Rosemary: I always tell people that it’s okay to make mistakes or to not know everything about this because I don’t even know everything about it. There are so many things that I have to learn myself. Always come with questions because none of us know all of the answers.
Daniel: I would say that GSA is open for everyone, even though we love having our tight knit community we want people to know that everyone and anyone is welcome to join us. I would also say don’t be afraid of the stigma that you think might be associated with joining because as long as you care about it, it shouldn't matter what other people think.
Q: What are some fun things GSA club has on the horizon this year?
Daniel: We are planning on doing things in the future to celebrate LGBTQ+ designated months as well as our annual Day of Silence which takes place in April. Also, we would love to do some fundraising and collaborate with student government and other clubs and organizations on campus. One theme we definitely want to display this year is teens helping teens so it’s definitely in the works to begin collaborating with GSA clubs at other local schools.
The Hun pride t-shirt and sweatshirt are available for sale in the Spirit Store. Proceeds from the sale of Hun pride gear support the Cultural Competency Committee.