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Hey y’all, I was wondering if anyone had any advice for me because I have this idea but no clue how I could make it work.
I go to a Catholic high school and I want to make a sort of gay-straight alliance (but I wouldn’t call it that). Basically I think that the bullying, harassment and homophobia that goes on is not acceptable, especially because there are gay kids in the school.
1. All I want to address is homophobia. Despite many false assumptions, the Catholic Church doctrine states that homosexuality does exist, and while people of that orientation are called to chastity (abstinence from sex), they should be treated with respect and acceptance. That’s what I want to promote.
2. I think it’s necessary because I’ve had friends who went through tons of trouble (depression, self-harm, becoming suicidal, etc.) because they struggled with coming out to themselves and everyone around them. The worst thing I think would be if someone committed suicide in my school because of it (gay kids are 3x more likely to kill themselves) and maybe if someone had just said “it’s okay” then they would have hesitated. That’s what my goal is.
3. I hear homophobic comments SO MUCH. I know a lot of people do; I know that “gay” is a common insult, but it’s not okay. It’s not okay when people say “that’s retarded” either. It’s not okay that I hear it all the time and nobody says anything. It’s not okay that nobody seems to care. It’s not okay that when I say something about it, nobody realizes I’m serious. It’s not okay that some of my friends have said to me “you’re so gay – oh, wait, sorry…” and then turned around and said it again, or said it to somebody else. It’s not okay first of all because it’s insulting to gay people. It’s not okay secondly because someday, when we’re all grown up and in jobs, at least one of us is going slip and say it to his boss, and maybe his boss will be a decent enough person that the one of us who slips will get fired. Because using “gay” as an insult is not okay, and in most states, it’s illegal. It’s not okay thirdly because most people don’t mean to insult gay people when they say it; they’ve just heard it too much. That’s what I want to prevent.
So basically what I’m asking for is advice. I don’t know anything about gay-straight alliances, how they’re formed, what they actually DO, and I don’t know if anything like this has ever been tried in a Catholic school. I’ve talked to a few of my teachers who I’m out to, I’ve talked to my mom, I’ve talked to a bunch of kids who are interested, and they all agree with my point. Many of them also doubt the likelihood that the administration will let me start this group. I think I can convince them (the administration) if I do it right. I’m also in very good standing at my school so I think that helps. My point is that I’ve heard “no” enough times that if I were going to give up, I would have already. So I’m asking for constructive criticism and advice and some general info on gay-straight alliances. Please.