Not Your Average Club


One club at Ipswich High School that doesn’t get enough recognition is GSA. GSA stands for Gay Straight Alliance. The GSA club is not your typical club. Despite only having six members, they are very powerful and successful at getting their message across!

This club exists to accomplish three main goals: to provide a safe space for LGBTQ students at the school, to talk about things unique to their experiences, and to get support from peers. They also want to help educate the Ipswich community in order to help others be able to make Ipswich High School a safe place for all people.

The GSA club meets every Tuesday after school. At meetings they eat, check-in, have a chance to discuss how things are going, talk about challenges people are facing, and help to encourage each other. Mrs. Slawson started working with the GSA last year, but the club has been around for about 10-15 years now. Mrs. Slawson said, “After all this, we do an activity which varies, such as movie nights and work on the bulletin board.” This club also talks about educational topics. Such as differences between sex and gender, trips to original LGBTQ meetings, videos on issues and vocabulary all around.

Now after getting some background about this club, someone who really stands out and has the confidence to tell her story is Nina Gillette, who is the president of the GSA club. Being president is a big job. Nina said, “Usually I tell everyone the schedule for the day and answer any questions the other group members might have. Even though I’m technically the President of the club, we all participate to keep everything running smoothly.” One thing that stands out about Nina is her braveness in being able to talk to hundreds of people. After asking Nina if it was hard getting up in front of the whole school to tell her story, she replied, “It was definitely hard talking in front of everyone, but afterwards I got so much love and support that it made everything worthwhile.” Having the confidence to stand up and be open about the way they feel is amazing!

The GSA club is starting to become more known. Everyone in this club is a leader to not only the people going through these changes, but to the entire town and community. Teaching students about this at a young age helps everyone feel more comfortable and accepted. The GSA club is making people feel more welcomed! Having the GSA at our school is wonderful and is very life changing for some! Lessons are being learned everyday. Nobody should ever be called different, and the GSA club is making that happen.