Camas High School Sophomore Erin Connelly is a member of the Gay-Straight Alliance club and plays a vital role in the group. A few years ago, she was the student who brought the GSA club to Skyridge Middle school as well as got the high a school’s group back up a year ago.
Connelly said, “I got word from the GSA from the high school that fell apart, and I helped reestablish it.”
In the GSA club, members meet up to discuss issues with each other in a safe space. Students talk about issues such as bullying or how someone could come out to their friends or to their family. The members start creating a bond because of shared experiences.
“It is an LGBTQ+ support group. We would sit down and talk about things, relating to these people and helping them with issues. We had lots of valuable discussions with each other, and I think it was very useful to everyone including myself,” she said.
She exclaimed that one of the best things about the GSA club is that they gain lots of empathy for other people in the club.
Connelly said, ”You just start to sympathize with them. My parents have been supportive of me and it is hard seeing that some people don’t have that luxury of that. It just makes the whole group more empathetic as a whole.”
Connelly hopes that in the future the GSA club will be able to participate in larger events. She shared that she would want to attend a pride parade or start a fundraiser with the members of the club.
She also hopes that the group will grow in size soon. However, this might be more difficult than it sounds.
“It has been a challenge to grow because some people do not want to attend any zoom meetings, but I hope that we will still be able to rebuild this club and benefit the community,” Connelly said.