Fleetwood Students Still Lack Gay-Straight Alliance

Posted on October 25, 2011 by

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Times are changing in the United States, especially in places such as New York, Massachusetts, and California. The fight for gay rights is gaining momentum all over the country, helped along by an organization called The Gay-Straight Alliance. This organization specializes in forming clubs in high schools and colleges nationwide.  Fleetwood, however, is not one of the schools housing a Gay-Straight Alliance.

 According to FAHS principal Michael DeAntonio, there is one simple reason behind this.

“No one has ever asked,” DeAntonio said. “Students can form any club as long as they have a teacher willing to be the club’s advisor.”

Though unable to be a club advisor himself due to his responsibilities as school principal, DeAntonio says that he would definitely support the formation of such a club.

“It could be very beneficial, not only to students struggling to find or accept their sexuality, but also in bringing out advocates and students that simply support gay rights,” DeAnotonio said.

One student who is a “straight supportive” (or, as a common pro-gay rights slogan states, “Str8 against H8″) is Brittany Gantz, a junior at Fleetwood. Like DeAntonio, Gantz believes that having a Gay-Straight Alliance could be beneficial to all students.  She does, however, acknowledge the potential negative effects of having this club at Fleetwood.

“I think it would be helpful for those students who are comfortable with their sexuality because they can band together and support each other, but there will sadly always be kids that won’t come out and say that they’re gay, lesbian, or bisexual due to negative feedback,” Gantz said.

Gantz also believes that “the group might possibly convince [closeted students] to come out into the open arms of students who are already in the group.”

Gantz comments that she is currently involved in too many school activities to have time to join a Gay-Straight Alliance if one were created, but she said, “I would certainly show my support for the group, such as wearing shirts or bracelets, etc.”

It seems that a Gay-Straight Alliance would be welcomed by students and faculty alike, not to mention gay and straight alike. For now, it will remain unformed because of insufficient interest and the potentional for negative reactions of Fleetwood’s more conservative demographic.

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