Community Building at NAHS: How GSA Has Maintained a Safe Space


Kacey Walker

North Atlanta’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club creates a safe space for all students, no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation.

As time goes on, more communities are created and acknowledged to be enjoyed amongst humanity. The more these spaces create an area for people to freely express themselves and connect with others, the better for an accepting world. These communities form in North Atlanta through clubs and organizations, where the school’s vast number of students ensures the existence of a  club that fits in with a student’s identity or interests. For members of the LGBTQ+ community, their safe space is the Gender-Sexuality Alliance (GSA) club found in physics teacher William Hinkle’s room on Tuesday afternoons.  

The club welcomes all members regardless of identity and aims to amend the disconnection that often occurs between heterosexual and queer people. Club time is typically more casual as it allows members to authenticate themselves while hanging out with friends. Some people aren’t out to family members or friends, and, for some, that hour is the only time the people around them respect their identity. Although each meeting is not just about hanging out with friends and playing games, they discuss the topic during recognition days or weeks and hear other people’s opinions. Freshman Allison Walker joined the club this year out of support for LGBTQ+ students and has gained lots of insight on how to be a good ally. “I feel like I learn so much those days because there are so many things that I don’t even think about sometimes,” said Walker.

The time spent during club meetings creates a greater sense of community among the LGBTQ+ students of North Atlanta. The GSA has opened up the opportunity for more friendships to foster by introducing members to people in different grades and with varying interests to the initial hardships of finding common ground. Although some days may be more chill, the actual club has helped people feel welcome and connected to the community. Sophomore Ace Tate is a new student at North Atlanta and, through the GSA, has quickly adapted to his newfound friendships to help him along the way. “I’m a little introverted so joining GSA helped cut off some of the beginning awkwardness of making new friends,” said Tate. 

The North Atlanta GSA has created a community where LGBTQ+ students can authenticate themselves. Whether it be un-supportive parents or general homophobia from strangers or peers, members of the LGBTQ+ community are not always treated kindly. However, some people can and will make a safe space to stop the shouting, even if it is only for an hour. That hour provided at the GSA club is what people look forward to and is sometimes the reminder the world can be kind.