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Editorial: RHS Gay Straight Alliance is doing good work

When we first raised the idea of doing a story about Rosemount High School's Gay Straight Alliance we got some resistance from the school. Not opposition to the story, but a warning that anything we wrote could be controversial among some groups in the city.

We suppose that could be the case. Some people get worked up anytime the subject of homosexuality comes up. But we have trouble understanding the opposition anyone could have to a group like the GSA, which seeks to build unity among students and help students who might otherwise feel alienated because of their sexuality feel more like a part of the school community.

Senior Nyssa Towsley said while RHS is not an openly hostile environment for homosexual students, there are signs of opposition. Students give strange looks or make comments under their breath.

Little by little, that seems to be changing, and the GSA deserves at least some of the credit. The three-year-old group has fewer posters torn down than it did when it started and participation in a recent day of silence, in which students took a vow of silence in support of homosexual peers, had good participation. The group has a page in the RHS yearbook this year.

"I think slowly things are getting a little more accepted and residents are more conscious," Towsley said.

The GSA's goal, Towsley said, is to generate discussion and get issues out in the open. She emphasizes the Straight part of the group's name. The GSA welcomes students of any sexual orientation in hopes of ensuring gay students always have straight "allies" in the hallways.

Towsley laughs off suggestions the group is trying to recruit students to a homosexual lifestyle.

"We're not converting anyone any more than the softball team when they say, 'Join softball,' she said.

Being a high school student is hard enough without being made to feel like an outsider. If a group like the GSA can help students feel more comfortable in their classrooms, we're all for it.