GSA Acts Against Campus Homophobia

Bella Quilici and Caroline Studdert

In the past year, the amount of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community in the United States have skyrocketed. 

According to a study conducted by the Human Rights Campaign, “47 transgender and gender non-conforming people have been killed in the U.S. since the beginning of 2021.” SVHS allies and members of the queer community speculate if these tragedies have contributed to the recent rise in homophobia on campus. 

Recently, the GSA club partnered with teachers to design t-shirts with the dragon logo and the coined LGBTQIA+ rainbow flag. 

When the shirt was distributed to teachers during class time, the teacher distributing them experienced homophobic comments and behaviors from underclassmen. 

The GSA club, teachers, student leaders, and student allies have been working hard to fight against this hideous behavior.

SVHS Gender Sexuality Awareness Club President Rowan Winslow (he/they) claims that “the GSA is still working out specifics in regards to responding to the hate and negativity on campus.”

Currently the GSA is working on sending a message of disapproval towards hate and bullying on campus as well as offering a safe space within the GSA community for anyone who needs it. Hopefully in the future the GSA can speak with campus advisors about dealing with the negativity and ensuring student wellbeing.” 

Many students, staff, and school leaders feel that behavior standards need to be upheld where homophobia is not allowed and that consequences should be made clear.

Winslow argues that a big part of the issues with homophobia comes from the inadequate response from the school’s administration. He stated that “the lack of action from admin is rather disappointing, it sends a message that student well-being isn’t top priority. I think that homophobia and bullying cases wouldn’t be as active as they are on campus if the admin addressed the issue publicly and took a real stance against it.” He continues, “instead they’ve been putting on paper that bullying isn’t allowed on campus but neglecting to monitor situations involving bullying.”