by Editor-in-chief Marisa Kaplita
October 15th through the 19th the GSA partook in Ally Week, a week to promote the support of all students to become allies for people in the LGBT community. An ally is someone who stands up against bulling and harassment because of a person’s sexual identity. “ We refer to Allies as people who do not identify as LGBT students, but support this community by standing against the bullying and harassment LGBT youth face in school.” You can check out more about this organization at http://www.allyweek.org/ and even watch student videos.
BHS’s GSA members encouraged all the students at this school to take the pledge:
I believe all students, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression deserve to feel safe and supported.
That means I pledge to:
- Not use anti-LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) language or slurs.
- Intervene, if I safely can, in situations where students are being harassed or tell an adult.
- Support efforts to end bullying and harassment.
- Encourage others to be Allies.
Peers Lauren DaRos and Pierina Lopez passed out ribbons for students to pin to their shirts so they can show their support and become an ally. DaRos said they are doing this because they want, “to show any LGBT or closeted LGBT that this is a safe school and a safe environment for them.”
Many of the students in Branford High School were proud to support the cause, one student Rachel Hanchurck said she wore her ribbon because, “I am in Cultural Diversity club and a lot of people in Cultural Diversity are very accepting so I support everyone who needs an ally. And let people know there are people out there who will accept them for who they are.”
Another student, Victoria Marsala said that,” Since my brother is gay, obviously, it is important to me for him to feel safe and express who he is.” A lot of people have a close connection to this cause and want to show their support. “Everyone should be an ally. I stand up for what I believe in, people who don’t are cowards,” said Amy Bachhuber wearing her rainbow striped ribbon.
This week people showed their support by wearing ribbons, but every student can show their support everyday of the year by becoming an ally to end bullying.