by Kelsey Cropp
On behalf of the GSA, thank you all for your support during Ally Week. It was a huge success! We went from 4 members to 16, which was very exciting for our original members. The students created three bulletin boards around the school and a display in the LMC that got a lot of positive feedback during the open house. Check out their work if you have a moment!
Some of you have also expressed interest in learning about how you can be a more visible ally in the school. Here are three easy things you can do to show your support.
1. Put your pronouns in your email signature.
This simple addition conveys a lot of information. It tells people that you have some awareness of gender identity concerns, that you are open to talking about preferred pronoun use, that you believe transgender and gender non-conforming people exist, and that you are probably a safe person to discuss LGBTQ issues with in general. It’s also part of an important larger social movement to normalize asking about pronouns and validate the fact that not everyone identifies with the gender they were assigned at birth.
2. Have an LGBTQ Safe Space sign in your room.
Here’s the thing about Safe Space signs: everyone having one is the same as no one having one. If every classroom has one, they become meaningless. No adult in this building would be intentionally cruel to an LGBTQ student who asked them for help. In that sense, everywhere is a “safe space.” So how should you decide if a Safe Space sign is a good fit for your room?
– Are you yourself a member of the LGBTQ community?
– Are you particularly knowledgeable or passionate about LGBTQ issues?
– Would you be touched and excited if a student came out to you?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it probably makes sense to have a Safe Space sign in your room. Contact Kelsey Cropp in Guidance if you would like an official GLSEN Safe Space sign.
3. Visit a GSA meeting.
If you want to poke your head in at one of our meetings to identify yourself as an ally in the building and see what we’re up to, we would love to see you! If you are unable to make it to a meeting but still want the GSA students to know they have your support, you can send an email to Kelsey Cropp and she will share your message with the GSA.
A Special Note for Coaches
You are extremely influential role models for your student athletes. You also see a different side of them than we do in the classroom. Your own attitudes, what you choose to call out and what you choose to let slide, have a huge impact on student behavior. The majority of the student body plays at least one sport, therefore you are in a unique position to have a major impact on the overall culture of the school. You can be particularly powerful allies in making our school and our sports teams safe and inclusive.
For resources specific to PE and sports, check out GLSEN’s Changing the Game program.
Again, thank you all so much for your support! The students are really excited and have a lot of energy and ideas for the year! Please feel free to reach out with specific questions or if you want to know more about how you can be involved.