#DrewsViews: What Can Your GSA Do for You?

by Drew Adams

When I first started high school, I was just like most freshmen–wide-eyed and terrified–desperately looking for a safe space where I could feel comfortable and with people who I could be close to. I had heard about GSA clubs at other schools and on social media, but when I first saw the flyer for the Nease GSA, I had no idea what I was getting into.

My first GSA meeting was 3 years ago, at the beginning of my freshman year. Immediately entering the room, I felt a sense of security, like the confusion and distress of the beginning of high school had faded. I felt like I had found the home I knew I needed to survive high school as a gay trans man. I immediately knew that I would have someone to eat lunch with and someone to smile at in the hallway for the rest of high school. I knew that I would be okay.

Even though I didn’t pass as a guy in public, everyone in the club used the right pronouns after I introduced myself with he/him after my name. Throughout the year, the club had multiple meetings in which we talked about current issues and got to know each other. At the end of the year, we held our first election for officers. I had the great honor of being elected president. That tiny action, becoming a leader in my tiny club, sparked my love of activism.

Looking back as a senior now, I owe who I am today to that flyer on the wall and that classroom with the desks in a circle and people in my community. I owe who am i today to my GSA.

So if your school has a GSA, join it! I promise that you won’t regret it. And if your school doesn’t have one, start one! Organizations like GLSEN and GSANetwork have tons of resources specially designed for GSA clubs. GSA gave me a safe place to exist and grow and made me who I am today.

What can your GSA do for you?

About the Author:

Drew Adams is a transgender high school senior from Ponte Vedra, FL, who is committed to LGBTQ advocacy at the local and national levels. He serves as his high school GSA’s president and raises money for Northeast Florida’s LGBTQ youth outreach, JASMYN, to which he also donates food, toiletries and school supplies. Nationally, Drew serves as a youth ambassador and advocacy volunteer for The Trevor Project, a youth social media ambassador for the Matthew Shepard Foundation, and a Volunteer and Intern Coordinator for Point of Pride. On the legislative side, Drew lobbies for the Equality Act by visiting with his Congressional representatives and their staff.

Additionally, Drew has spent years fighting to change his school district’s bathroom policy to be trans-inclusive, and the fight is still ongoing. Drew is an International Baccalaureate student and a volunteer at the Mayo Clinic, and he hopes to go to medical school and become an adolescent psychiatrist specializing in transgender health. For fun, he practices Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, creates sculpture art and plays the piano.