GSA, or the Gay Straight Alliance Club, is one of the most open and inviting clubs on campus. The club was started last year with the help of advisor Phil Factor. The current president of the club, sophomore Anthony Lascala, has been in the club since it started and looks forward to its advancement of the club next year as president.
“Last year our original president brought up to Mr. Factor that she wanted to start GSA he was very happy to be our advisor and it just built from there,” Lascala said.
With the help of Factor the club has grown immensely from when it first started. Although, there are students of all sexual preferences in the club, the group is not focused on titles. Instead they want to make sure everyone is happy and comfortable.
“I always keep an open mind, but in our club we really don’t focus on titles, it’s more like a safe place for everyone,” Lascala said. “This club is all about people who are good, nice people coming together and enjoying each other’s company.”
After visiting the club for a day, it’s easy to feel like you’re automatically a member of the club because everyone is so cordial and open. As president, Lascala ensures the safety and comfort of the environment.
“It’s a safe place for everyone and no one has to feel like they’re singled out or called names or anything like that. It’s very community-like,” Lascala said.
Besides just eating and fellow-shipping with one another during club meetings, Lascala presents members with subject topics to discuss.
“Every week we go through any new news that happens in the LGBT community and if anything new is happening we talk about it. But other than that it’s very community style where we just eat lunch together and tell stories and enjoy each other’s company,” Lascala said.
Through Lascala members in the club discuss local and world news regarding the LGBT community to form opinions and stay informed.
“When I see anything that involves the gay community, a new state legalizing gay marriage or even something bad that’s going on in a different country, I’ll bring it up in the meeting just to show everyone and keep everyone knowledgeable about their world and what’s going on,” Lascala said.
Luckily living in San Diego and attending MC is a blessing because our school is liberal and open. But there are those who are not as accepting about different types of people.
“There’s always going to be a few people who don’t agree or are very close minded about everything that will always ruin it for other people,” Lascala said.
Gay rights is something Americans are still heavily divided on, but while residing in San Diego and attending MC, most people are typically more accepting toward the LGBT community. Lascala was happy to say that most people at MC are open toward people from all walks of life.
“I’d say about 90%-95% is great, open and very tolerant, but 5% I would have to say are the close minded, ignorant people who don’t believe that we are equal, that the LGBT community is equal,” Lascala said.
Although Lascala has enjoyed his high school years thus far, he has encountered bullying. But with his confidence and a strong support system behind him, he has been able to handle it with ease.
“I’ve been called faggot and all of the derogatory words you can think of,” Lascala said. “You just really have to have a thick skin. It’s often about the way you dress or the way you act, and it happens but, for the most part the 95% of the school that isn’t doing that is standing up for you.”
As a more tolerant and accepting school a majority of the student body at MC follow the Sundevil Way and are accepting of all types of people.
As for next year, GSA recently held elections for the new vice president. Through a unanimous vote, Natasha Orie was elected as the new vice president.
“I care a lot about my friends and the people who are involved in this club, so I want to be able to take a leadership role and become more involved,” Orie said.
Orie originally joined the club for the friends and fellowship, but gay rights and the happiness of others is truly important to her.
“I joined the club because usually I’m pretty silent and soft spoken about things but, gay rights are the one thing that I’ll really defend my opinion for this,” Orie said. “I just believe that all people should be allowed to be happy.
GSA meets every Wednesday in R-28. Lastly, advice Lascala gives to anyone struggling with people that can’t accept them or just want a group of new friends would be;
“Come to GSA! This is a very safe place, safe group. You can tell us anything and it will never leave the meeting if you don’t want it to. You can always come and vent and we’ll be here to be your safety net.”