SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – Springfield High School of Commerce, in conjunction with the LGBT Coalition of Western Massachusetts and sponsored by Baystate Health and The Rainbow Times, will be hosting an area-wide celebration of the first-ever National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day on Wednesday, January 25th, 2012, to be held at the High School of Commerce.
“GSA Day is a time to strengthen the bond between LGBT youth and their straight allies, and also honor these student organizations for what they accomplish,” states LGBT Coalition Board Member and event coordinator Emily Scagel. “This day will let students know that they are not alone, and that their work is incredibly beneficial in creating safe environments in schools.”
Gay-Straight Alliances have been forming in high schools across America to address the problems of bullying and hate, creating dialogue with the intention to improve lives. “In light of the many recent suicides in our area, this brave work deserves to be recognized and celebrated,” Scagel continued. “This is a crucial step in ending the bullying that is brought about by homophobia and transphobia.”
Lynne Conchieri, GSA advisor for the High School of Commerce, knows firsthand how positive an impact GSA clubs have on the students. “Our GSA offers our members unconditional acceptance, friendship, and support. This has created a safe community where all members feel valued and respected.”
This event will include speakers, musical guests, and presentations that will allow each GSA to describe what their group is doing and why it provides enrichment for their lives.
“Hearing the personal stories of our community is a unique and endearing way to bring us together,” states Suzanne Seymour, Executive Director. “The LGBT Coalition is committed to providing opportunities like National GSA Day for our young people to reflect upon where we’ve come from, and where we are headed, as a community.”