Gay Straight Alliance provides a safe place for LGBTQ+ students


Everyone wants to have a place where they can feel safe and belong; and Gay-Straight Alliance is that place for Chantilly’s LGBTQ+ community.


“It’s a good place for people to meet other people who have the same feelings and are going through the same things,” music teacher and club sponsor Evan Ayars said. “It’s good to have a feeling of camaraderie and togetherness.”


The club meets every Tuesday in Room 274 to talk about their experiences, play games and advocate for causes in which they believe. They also plan events in which to participate.


“During the year, we have a theme of LGBT topics for each month,” junior and club president Zora Patton said. “The club teaches about gender and sexuality terms, and spreads awareness of different topics in the school, using posters.”


The club strives to inform others about the growing LGBTQ+ community.


“When I first started a few years ago, it was just sitting around and talking and eating food,” Ayars said. “There was no real structure. But I feel like now, with the leadership we have in place last year and this year, it’s a lot more organized and the meetings have more purpose.”


At each meeting, members introduce themselves with their names and gender pronouns in order to make members feel comfortable.
“[Gay-Straight Alliance] gives people a space to talk about their sexuality or gender identity, tell the people who will definitely be accepting of it,” junior Stephen Wehlburg said. “It’s a good place to learn to accept yourself.”