GENDER AND SEXUALITY ALLIANCE YEAR END ROUND-UP
West Kildonan’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance had an awesome year! Even though the pandemic put an abrupt end to the year, the past 7 months were filled with laughter, banter, and serious discussions.
Before we continue with the round-up, the GSA would like to thank the adult supervisors/facilitators that worked with the GSA this year: Ms. D’Antonio, Mr. Jimenez, Ms. Saad, Ms. Hart, and Mr. Boissenault. Thanks for your support and guidance!
On November 5th, West Kildonan Collegiate’s Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) attended the 5th annual Divisional GSA Gathering at Maples Collegiate. The Divisional GSA Gathering allows students and staff from all GSA’s in Seven Oaks School Division schools from grades 4-12 to come together to connect and learn from one another sharing ideas on how to make Seven Oaks schools even more inclusive for 2SLGBTQ+ members of the community.
At the GSA Gathering, students heard from Keynote Speaker Liam Zarrillo. He spoke about his experiences as a trans-masculine person and how his goal in life is to challenge the patriarchy and to live as “queerly” as possible.
Furthermore, students and staff attended various workshops covering topics such as:
- Religion and the 2SLGBTQ+ Community
- How to Start and Sustain a GSA
- Queer Writes & 2SLGBTQ+ People in Picture Books
- What is Asexuality
- What is Drag?
- Voguing and Waacking
Keesha Harewood presented about Asexuality while Mr. J discussed Religion and its impact on the 2SLGBTQ+ community.
The day ended off with incredible performances from two local drag queens Miss Gender and Feather Talia.
For West Kildonan Collegiate’s annual Open House, the GSA students participated in different ways. They baked cookies and educated attendees on different LGBTQ+ topics. Furthermore, they displayed the GSA’s mural of positivity in the commons. The mural is a colourful canvas depicting the Pride flag’s colours. Furthermore, the mural is adorned with speech bubbles that display students’ positive comments towards the LGBTQ+ community.
FROZEN FIELD TRIP
Frozen remains as one of the most popular Disney movies with the queer community. Elsa is important for the LGBTQ+ community; her story of coming out as a powerful queen with ice powers can be read as a queer narrative of a coming out story. Because of this, anticipation was high within the queer community for the sequel.
On the afternoon of November 26th, the GSA went on a field trip with Mr. Jimenez and Ms. D’Antonio to watch the hotly (or coldly?) anticipated sequel. Students had a blast throughout the movie. The plot was complex for a Disney movie, the characters were charming as usual, and the queerness of the narrative continued through the new power ballads “Into the Unknown” and “Show Yourself”. One particular stanza from “Show Yourself” stands out:
“I have always been a fortress
Cold secrets deep inside
You have secrets, too
But you don’t have to hide.”
Once the movie was over, the singing was not done; the GSA students sang all the way during the car ride back to school.
The GSA had plans to tackle transphobia and gender roles within the school community for the rest of the year, especially during our planned Pride Assembly at the end of May. We also had plans to march during the annual Pride March, but due to COVID-19 Pride Month festivities are postponed. Even though the GSA has been apart for a couple of months now, our community has never been tighter. There is still a lot to be done within our school community and the community at large when it comes to LGBTQ+ issues. As the Black Lives Matters movement shows, diversity, inclusion, and performative allyship are not enough; we need to be actively anti-oppressive during our fight for true justice.