“We want people to know we aren’t the ‘gay club,’” said junior Tiare Gutierrez. “We’re a support team.”
Huntley High School is one of the many high schools around the country that host the Gay-Straight Alliance club, a group of students who united to talk about tough issues involving sexual orientation and the stigmas that come with them.
“We want to help promote awareness and understanding,” said sophomore Kurt Morris.
One of the main activities GSA sponsors is the GSA Coffeehouse, coming up in mid-April.
“The Coffeehouse is to help bring people into a fun atmosphere,” said Gutierrez. “It’s to pull people in.”
Also, Words Hurt Week is a nationally recognized event that culminates in the Day of Silence, a day in which students do not speak in protest.
“We don’t speak because we are protesting all of the voices no one has,” said Gutierrez. “It’s to show people what limiting rights can do.”
Words Hurt Week is geared towards altering the perception many Huntley students have. Using a video in which teachers are shown trying to limit bullying in the high school, members will be going to advisorys to show what and how words can hurt people.
“A lot of people honestly just use rude words whenever they feel like it,” said sophomore Shane Lackovic. “And I think people need to know how much it can hurt.”
Gutierrez is Vice President of GSA alongside Jazmine Chartrand, President of the Huntley chapter. Together, they are trying to change the mindset that students at Huntley High School have towards the gay community.
“The GSA is more than just a Huntley High School thing,” said Gutierrez. “It’s a national alliance. It unites everyone and everything.”