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Gay-Straight Alliance club returns to Greenport

Savannah Corwin Hall, a junior at Greenport High School, wasn’t sure what to do for her community service project as part of the Rotary Youth Leadership program earlier this summer. 

She got the idea to bring the Gay-Straight Alliance club to Greenport high school after a conversation with her friend.

“I had no clue what I wanted to do and a friend of mine asked me if my school currently had a Gay-Straight Alliance or GSA club; I realized that we didn’t,” Savannah wrote in The Quill, a newsletter featured on the school districts website, announcing the start of the club. “I instantly knew what I wanted to do: bring a GSA club to Greenport.”

The Gay-Straight Alliance, or Pride Alliance, is a student-run club that provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other and discuss topics related to the LGBTQ+ community, according to club advisor and school psychologist Courtney Dubreuil.

It’s unclear how long it has been since a club like the GSA has existed in Greenport district.

“I do not believe that the Pride Alliance is the first GSA club in the history of Greenport; however, it has been a long time since a club such as this has been running,” Ms. Dubreuil said.

The club’s first meeting was Nov. 3. Ms. Dubreuil said the club has 15 student members and meets once or twice a month after school. It is open for all students in the high school from grades 7-12.

“The main function of the club is a social place in which students freely talk,” Ms. Dubreuil said. “However, we have plans for future events and fund­raisers for organizations such as the Trevor Project.”

The Trevor Project is the world’s largest suicide prevention and crisis intervention organization for LGBTQ+ youth, according to their website. They have trained counselors and many other resources for anyone who is struggling.

Despite the role of club counselor being uncharted territory for Ms. Dubreuil, she enjoys working with colleagues and helping students connect with one another.

“It is a new experience for me,” Ms. Dubreuil said. “I have leaned on my colleagues, such as Karieann Damon, a special education teacher at the district, for helping organize the club, gather ideas and facilitate further student connections. I look forward to our meetings and am proud of the ways Greenport students come together to support one another.”

The first GSA club was formed in 1988 at a Massachusetts school when a student approached a teacher, upset about the treatment of gay students, according to Savannah.

The club has had three meetings so far, the last one on Dec. 17.