A group for LGBTQ+ students and their straight allies kicked off its first meeting of the school year on Monday, Sept. 26 at Timberline.
“[The Queer Straight Alliance] is the only place I feel accepted and it is a good place to meet friends, talk, socialize, and have fun,” said Amber Galati, a Grade 11 student who attended the first QSA meeting and also frequented the meetings last year. “It takes away bigotry and it just creates a more accepting community,”
The Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) is a club which welcomes students in Grades 9 and up every Monday afternoon from 3:15 to 4:15 in room A242 at Timberline Secondary.
Many of the students who come to the weekly QSA meetings, go there because they feel it is a safe place to go which allows them to be themselves as well as mingle with other students.
“I wanted a place where I can feel safe and be respected,” said Grade 9 student Mattie Omeré. “I feel like it’s a really good thing for the community and everyone outside of it,” Omeré added.
Omeré said they will definitely be returning to the QSA next Monday.
A group of six students sat in for the first meeting, which is the usual turnout for the club.
One student was from Carihi, another from Robron and the other four go to Timberline.
The club focuses on both fun activities and games but also touches base on serious topics and issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community.
Sharene Zemanek, organizes and supervises the meetings.
“I would much rather have it driven by youth than driven by me,” she said.
Ecole Phoenix Middle School also has a QSA group at their school. Phoenix’s QSA has joined Timberline’s QSA group on one occasion last school year to have a more multi-generational group discussion.
Zemanek said she has thought about doing it on a more regular basis for the future.