The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Gay-straight alliance encourages peace with pledge

By Myisha Henderson/reporter

SE Gay Straight Alliance celebrated Ally Week Oct. 24-28 by encouraging students to intervene if they witness someone being bullied or harassed.

Last year for Ally Week, GSA dedicated a tree to suicide victims. This year, the group urged students to sign a pledge to become advocates for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender community by refraining from using derogatory language and sexually oriented slurs, defending those being bullied or harassed and supporting efforts for school safety. GSA supporters signed the pledge in the Commons. In celebration of Spirit Day, members wore purple, the last color in the rainbow symbolizing ambition and spirit.

GSA meets every Friday 1-2:30 p.m. and adds at least one member per meeting, club president Florisa Esquivel said. Less than 5 percent of its members aren’t part of the LGBT community, including Esquivel, who said she hopes to increase the number of heterosexual members soon.

“This isn’t the gay club,” she said. “It’s the gay and straight alliance.”

Tracy DeOrdio said she is proud to be one of the few heterosexual members actively involved with GSA. 

She recalls having LGBT friends and family who have shared their experiences with her. DeOrdio said she supports same-sex marriage and said she doesn’t find it fair that she can marry as many times as she likes, but others who are in love cannot take part.

“[The LGBT community] aren’t treated like human beings,” she said. “[Being gay] isn’t a choice. Supersizing your fries is a choice.”

Stephen Daly has been a member for two years and said he’s hurt by the way others treat him.

“We all have inalienable rights, and we can’t pick and choose who gets them,” he said.

Daly, a self-proclaimed gay rights activist, said he spends hours a day signing online petitions for gay rights. He graduated high school a year early to escape the constant bullying and negativity from his peers, Daly said. Trying not to let the negativism of others affect him, he said that one should treat others the way they would like to be treated. He said he doesn’t bully, chastise or discriminate against those he disagrees with and only asks that others do the same.

Vice president Josh Tran also experienced bullying in high school. During his freshman year, he said another student threatened his life. After engaging in a back-and-forth verbal altercation, the other student was sent to an alternative school for the remainder of the semester.

“I know what it’s like to be different, and I want to be there for those who struggle,” he said.

Chastity Monroe, an education major, didn’t sign the pledge but said she’s been trained as a Safe Zone Ally, a group who works to provide a positive environment for the LGBT community.

“It’s almost like being a counselor,” she said. “A lot of young people who have come to me are struggling with bullying and sometimes feel alienated by their own parents.”

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