Danielle Greene
Special to the Nevada Appeal

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December 18, 2012
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Danielle Greene: New club offers hope, acceptance

For many, "coming out" is a scary and difficult experience. You worry about what others will think of you, if they will treat you different, or even abandon you altogether.

But my friend Frankie and Carson High School are trying to wash those worries away for the gay teenage community and make this experience a little easier.

The school's new Gay-Straight Alliance club is a safe place for both gay and straight students to show their support and help each other through difficult times.

And with more than 64 members it is hard to believe this group started from just an ordinary English assignment.

"I was in English and we had to write a powerful speech," said Frankie, the club's president. "After researching and writing, I realized that it was something I was extremely passionate about."

And that passion seeped through and entwined itself in a goal to make a difference.

Using the senior projects as an opportunity to set her goal into action, Frankie discussed the possibility of having a GSA club at Carson High, and was soon rewarded with an ever-growing club.

"On the first meeting day, we had 64 people show up. Numbers have increased; with each meeting we see new members." Frankie said. "We are one of the biggest clubs at CHS. It's phenomenal!"

I myself am a member of the GSA and I can honestly say I was extremely proud of all the support that was shown on the first meeting. I could hardly breathe from the amount of people packed into Mrs. Golik's room. People were crowded around on the floor, sitting on tables, and even backed up into the hallway.

The members were all friendly and joked around with each other in such a way that it made me feel like everyone had known each other all their lives, even though some of them were meeting for the first time.

"It pretty much is like a second family," said Ashlee D., a GSA club member. "We all want one thing, to see the end of bullying."

However, not everyone has seemed to share these views. Within the first week the club had some instances of retaliation.

"They ripped down our posters and used negative words towards us when we tried to get the word out," Ashlee said.

But the GSA keeps on trucking.

They are bravely making their way through all the negativity and hatred in hopes they could build a better future and support for their friends. All in all, I say that the GSA is a rather optimistic group that only wants to focus on the positive side of things.

The GSA is not just about being gay teenagers trying to make their way through the world while trying to dodge all of the negativity. It is about being, like I have repetitively stated; it is about supporting and taking care of your peers and not being afraid of being who you are.

"You don't have to be gay to join," Frankie explained. "It's for anyone and everyone. You don't have to be scared of any of us members. We are all here to listen and support. The GSA is my family. I never had that support, and now I have that support. It really is my family, and I love each and every member like a brother or a sister."

I could not have said it better. This club represents so much. It represents variety, family and love. It won't turn you away.

So, if you are ever in need, if you need to talk, if you need an escape from the harsh world, or even if you just need a hug, seek us out. Because the GSA is family, and we won't let you face this alone.

• Danielle Greene is a senior at Carson High School. She is writing a series of columns to run as part of her senior project.

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The Nevada Appeal Updated Dec 18, 2012 02:24AM Published Dec 18, 2012 02:23AM Copyright 2012 The Nevada Appeal. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.