A Utah Valley Teen Stands up for Her LGBT Friends

By Gina Crivello and Emma, a high school junior in Utah County

This letter from a high school student warms my heart. Upon hearing about my efforts to begin a GSA at our high school, about 10 students have volunteered letters to me to present to the board. All the letters are wonderful, but I wanted to share this one in particular:

“I think the creation of a Gay Straight Alliance at our school is an excellent and inspiring goal. The mission of GSA is to promote tolerance, communication, and respect, and that is something that every school in this nation needs more of. As a Mormon, I am not the strongest proponent of gay rights; however, as a human being, I am the strongest supporter of expressing love and kindness toward all people, regardless of sexual orientation or gender expression. Homophobia is dangerous for all people in society; as a straight female who has been teased and harassed for “looking” like a lesbian, I can personally testify to that. With a GSA on campus, students could gather to discuss their fear, confusion, and questions about homosexuality in a safe environment. I used to be terrified of homosexuality; now, after safe and accepting exposure to the issue, I am best friends with a homosexual boy and a bisexual girl. Learning to love them has helped me to love myself and be more comfortable with my own sexual and gender identity. A Gay Straight Alliance is the first step toward helping all students, all people, feel comfortable in their own self and show respect for everyone else. It is the first step toward a decrease in bullying and an increase in friendships. It is the first step toward an environment where “lesbian” will no longer be a mean-spirited name.”

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