Queer Alliance Club

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by MsAbeja, Mar 26, 2017.

  1. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

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    Mar 26, 2017

    My school has started to incorporate teacher-led clubs for students, which meet once a week for roughly 40 minutes. We were each asked what we'd be interested in hosting, and then the admin took the list of possible clubs and had students sign up for them, without really providing a description of what the club is or who the teacher will be. We were told that if the club had at least 15 to 20 interested students then they went ahead, and any clubs without enough interest were scrapped and the teachers assigned to quad duty.

    I proposed a Queer Alliance club, as a place for support, education, and advocacy, for students concerned about issues impacting straight, gay, transgender, and cis-normative students alike. I also suggested including screening of documentaries (or parts of documentaries) on the topic of gender and gender norms, toxic masculinity in our society, and other related issues.

    I wasn't sure anyone would sign up for it, but I got 10 students and admin bent the rules a little bit and went ahead with my club even though I didn't technically have the minimum number of kids.

    So, because of that I get the sense that admin is supportive, and I want to do this club to really be meaningful for the students. I have a few ideas for documentaries that I'd like to try showing, but other than that I kind of feel like I have no idea what I'm doing! Any suggestion for activities, resources, or ideas would be appreciated.
     
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  3. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    Mar 26, 2017

  4. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

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    Mar 26, 2017

    Thanks, that's a great link. I can't believe I didn't come across it when I was googling for ideas.
     
  5. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    Apr 4, 2017

    I think it is awesome you took it upon yourself to start a club like this to incorporate and teach about diversity. It does sadden me that I could not imagine any school I have taught permitting such a club.
     
  6. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Apr 4, 2017

    One of my childhood friends sponsors her school's GSA (you might want to switch the name to that so straight allies feel free to join) and has found it the most rewarding aspect of her teaching career. Way to go!
     
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  7. Caesar753

    Caesar753 Multitudinous

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    I'm not sure that they'd be allowed to prohibit a club like this.
     
  8. MrsC

    MrsC Multitudinous

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    Apr 4, 2017

    Most high schools here have a Gay Straight Alliance. There have been some attempts to start something similar at my school for our grades 6-8, but it has been met with some resistance. We do have a "Free to Be Me" club which focuses on acceptance of diversity of all kinds.
     
  9. MrTempest

    MrTempest Companion

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    They could essentially if they "followed the rules." As in this case, op said there technically were not enough students to start the club. I could see it being said, "aww, it is too bad you are two students shy of the requirements."
     
  10. Go Blue!

    Go Blue! Connoisseur

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    Apr 4, 2017

    I agree about the name change. I know many of my gay students do not like the term "queer" and would steer clear of the group even if it was beneficial to them.
     
  11. MsAbeja

    MsAbeja Companion

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    Apr 4, 2017

    InI chose the name Queer Alliance because the school already has a student-led, afterschool GSA but some students had been saying that they felt like it was too binary for them. I definitely attracted a vibrant, vocal, fringe sort of crew to my club. There are 7 girls, 2 boys, and one ftm transgender. The first day we basically introduced ourselves and talked about the various terms associated with the QUEER umbrella. They came up with a whiteboard filled with terms, and they are very knowledgeable about the issue.

    The second meeting I showed the documentary CODE: Debugging the Gender Gap, and they liked it, but also mentioned that they had some ideas of their own, which I think is great.

    One asked that we discuss mental health issues that the LGBQT community encounters, which is certainly a priority for future meetings.

    They also are very eager to talk about sexuality, who they are dating or want to date, etc. and I want to create a safe space for them to express themselves but I want to be sure that it doesn't turn into the crossing of any boundaries of proprietary for a school-based club. Two of them identify as asexual, so I don't want to ailenate them either.

    They have all announced their gender and sexual preferences during our introductions, without prompting from me. And they pointedly asked me about how I identify, and I was honest, but immediately felt like maybe I should have been? I don't know, being the adult in charge of this sort club is more complicated than I anticipated. Not that I regret it, but I definitely want to do this well.
     
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  12. mako

    mako New Member

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    Apr 5, 2017

    This is actually a pretty good idea. Educating students on LGBT+ issues and having a support center that is willing to talk about sexuality (etc) Including straight allies will also make it easier for straight students to become more accepting of the issues if they get taught on the subjects.
     
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  13. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Apr 5, 2017

    This is a great idea and I'm glad these students have you. I don't know much about running a club, but why not just have them also do (in addition to your plans) typical club stuff. You could run a bake sale or car wash or something to fundraise money to give to an LGBT charity or you could use it to go on a field trip somewhere, or fund creating posters or T-shirts or whatever. I'm sure they'd enjoy just doing fun little things like that.
     
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