New Mayfield club looks beyond judgments


Joe DeNardo, Chief Editor

Mayfield’s newest club, The Gay-Straight Alliance, hopes to break down barriers with the hope that teenagers will become more considerate of each other’s sexuality.

Junior Anthony Gamerman became a leader in the club in the early stages, because he felt it was a basic human right for teenagers to be comfortable with themselves.

“We constantly hear stories about depression and suicide attempts, and most of the time we don’t think about the actual person,” Gamerman said. “This club is about people not being ashamed of who they are and not feeling prejudiced just because of their preferences.”

The clubs flagship meeting, which took place on Oct. 26, had an overwhelming amount of students and faculty who felt this was a cause worth rallying behind.

“The turnout was really incredible,” Gamerman said. “I knew a number of people who couldn’t attend because of various conflicts but the fact that we had about fifty people come to the first meeting really shows me that we’re going to have a great amount of support behind us as we grow throughout this year.”

In terms of purpose, the GSA hopes to unite Mayfield by improving the social environment for students in the LGBTQ community.

“This is the first time where all these people from different backgrounds are getting a chance to just leave their judgments at the door,” Gamerman said. “Regardless of your sexuality we are going to accept you and appreciate you all the same.”

Gay-Straight Alliance will be a valuable resource to students facing the struggle of discovering identity and will serve as a community that can comfort them during the loneliest time.

Club advisor Alison Rolf has supported the idea of LGBTQ acceptance since learning the importance of avoiding judgment in college.

“It’s so important to have a club like this because sexuality is such a large part of teenage identity,” Rolf said. “Sometimes topics like where we fall on the spectrum of homosexuality are difficult to discuss because of the baggage that comes with it. What we can look forward to in this club is that our members will support each other’s identities no matter what.”

As the ideas of tolerance and looking past judgments come to the surface, we begin to realize that NOW is the time to begin making students more aware of how Mayfield can be a safe environment for everyone.

“I want this club to ultimately grow into a better understanding of the issues presented to the LGBTQ community,” Rolf said. “It’s our job to support the community, advocate our plan to not discriminate, and educate on what sexual identity truly means.”

The initial success of the first meeting is not the peak to the GSA’s resounding presence that will be felt in Mayfield’s halls.

“We plan to have more outreach events around the school,” Rolf said. “Our first plan is to get people to sign our ally pledge, which basically states that we will be more empathetic in our thoughts towards others, and we’ll hang it in the cafeteria for everyone to see how people are looking out for each other.”

By signing the ally pledge, a student agrees that they will not use homophobic slurs, that they’ll report an incident when someone’s been harassed because of their sexuality, and that they’ll altogether work to make Mayfield the most optimal place for learning and social interaction for everyone!

“With student mindset the way it is and the support of Mr. Legan and all the administration,” Gamerman said. “We know that this is the perfect time for us to start this club.”