Tamalpais High School’s gender and sexuality alliance

Tamalpais High School’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) is attempting to become a more proactive advocacy club. Its plans for the future include bake sales and events for significant dates such as Pride Month or awareness days. 

“We help people get involved in the LGBTQ+ community in Marin by spreading word about LGBTQ events,” club Co-President Jess Lester said. 

GSA’s most recent activity has included a bake sale supporting the Spahr Center, a Marin-based LGBTQ+ advocacy group. GSA organized the club members to bake treats and sell them at the Mill Valley Depot in order to produce funds for the cause.

“They have a lot of awareness for the LGBTQ community like queer advocacy and they have fun events like Queer Prom and Queer Homecoming,” Co-President Zoe Neal said about the choice to support the Spahr Center.

The club aims for an open and safe environment, club presidents said. GSA meetings will often include watching movies or TV shows featuring LGBTQ representation. In the past, the club primarily acted as a place for members of the LGBTQ+ community at Tam High to meet each other. However, the current co-presidents have expanded the club to act as an advocacy group in addition to a safe space.

 In addition to fundraising and advocacy, GSA provides a safe space for members of the LGBTQ+ community. 

“It’s nice because people can feel like themselves there, they don’t feel like hiding this part of their identity, and it’s a way for people to just open up and feel secure that they’re not going to be judged,” Neal said.

New members of GSA find it to be a welcoming community at Tam High.

“GSA is a safe space because everyone has had their own personal journey to get there [in the LGBTQ community] and it makes it a really understanding community,” freshman GSA member Liana Eliasoph said.

In the future, GSA plans to raise awareness, especially on specific days with significance to the LGBTQ+ community or during Pride Month in June.

“We want to put up posters around the school and because there’s a lot of visibility (awareness) days, like Lesbian Visibility Day is in April, and there are all these different visibility dates that are super important because we can raise awareness about the LGBTQ community, so there can be less misinformation about what it means to be LGBTQ,” Neal said.

Currently, the GSA co-presidents are in communication with Tam High Vice Principal Andy Lieberman about non-binary changing rooms. As locker rooms are divided between two genders, those who identify as neither do not have a designated changing room. This is an example of the role of GSA on campus, they said, as a more proactive club focused on advocating for LGBTQ+ students at Tam High.

GSA meets weekly on Wednesdays during lunch. Meetings are held in Room 303 in Barrow Hall.