Club days at BHHS find room 208 filled by the the cheerful club members of the BHHS Gender-Sexuality Alliance. Three-year club president Ally Remy, often joined by teacher facilitators Hummel and Layton, discusses goals for the club or runs an activity. Recently they introduced the Kinsey scale, a way to measure sexual orientation. Instead of describing orientation as merely “straight”, “gay”, or “bisexual”, the scale places sexual orientation along a spectrum from 0 to 6 that encompasses these and more nuanced orientations — for example, a 1 would represent a person who is mostly straight but can occasionally be attracted to someone of their gender.
In addition to all of the activities inside the club, GSA has become active in advocating for changes in school policy that make the environment more inclusive for LGBT students. Last year, they successfully advocated for a gender-neutral bathroom in the B-building so that transgender students, especially those with a non-binary gender identity, have a restroom option. GSA also pushed for a system of choosing a homecoming court that is more inclusive to gay and transgender students. Both policies were implemented this year.
GSA also has plans for the upcoming school year. President Ally Remy will present about sexual orientation and gender identity to the freshman health classes, something that, according to Remy, “has never been in our curriculum before” but is essential to promote students’ understanding of these orientations. The club would also like to give similar presentations on this curriculum, albeit in less depth, to middle school and elementary school students. One potential option could be to promote something similar to Pizza Klatch at Tumwater Middle School. Pizza Klatch is a support group for LGBT students and allies in which students meet during lunch and discuss LGBT issues and other concepts in a supportive environment. A similar program would help give support to students who need it at a younger age.
GSA club members pose during a meeting. (photo credit: Fiona McBride, BHHS Journalism)
By Fiona McBride