BBCHS GSA Focused on Awareness, Representation

On October 13, the Kankakee Community College Gay Straight Alliance, Or “GSA” as many in the community affectionately call it, had held a statewide meeting for local GSAs to come together to create a warm, family friendly feeling among the community. The attending schools are as follows: Bradley Bourbonnais Community High School, Olivet, Manteno High School, and Kankakee Community College. As the event continued on with each speaker, one particular question was bounced around. The question states: “How would a GSA be able to raise awareness and representation for the LGBTQ community within the attending schools?”.

Many students from the attending schools took the chance to figure out a solution to this problem. Including the president of the BBCHS GSA chapter, who wishes to be anonymous for the time being. They introduced Ms. Kelly Carey, the new co-sponsor for the club this year. We asked her the same question many of the attending students had been asked before; her response was more than exceptional to any students hopes. With the question, Ms. Carey replied:

“I believe awareness and representation could be raised by continuing to inform and educate those who lack any prior notification to the community. I feel that some, but not all discrimination and prejudice towards the community arise from not fully understanding or being knowledgeable about something; Rudine Sims Bishop also wrote an essay in which she talks about the idea that people need “mirrors” where they can see their own reflection, “windows” where they can see someone else’s experience, and “sliding glass doors” where they can choose to be a part of an experience” Carey states. She references Bishop’s work, as Carey believes it is important for students [and adults] to have a mirror to see their own reflection, a window to see the world others live in and a sliding glass door to see their reflection in the world of others. With the use of a sliding glass door, students have the choice to enter the world of someone else who may be struggling in the community.

Another student who also wishes to be anonymous states “GSA is a fundamental club to the school as it creates a safe space for many students to feel welcomed and offers a place for those who seek information for the community.” The student intends to make a point at the GSA being suitable and  reliable source for anyone looking for it.