GSA Speech

Toph's picture

I've been working with some fellow students to get a GSA started at our school. The counselor is willing to sponsor us, but my older brother warned me that that may not be enough. He says we need teachers to support us and our cause. So, I appointed myself to talk to all the teachers when school starts. This is the speech I prepared for them. Please tell me if you think it will be effective.

Thank you for taking your time to listen to me. I'm here to represent the students aspiring to create a Gay-Straight-Alliance (GSA). It's basically a social and support group for gay or questioning youth and a way to get those teens and their straight supporters together. We are a diverse group of students, but we all have the same goal: to make a difference. We want to make this school a safe and hopefully comforting pace rather than the place of dread and fear it is. Many in this school are against homosexuality and are unaware of the emotional harm they inflict on those who are gay or questioning. And those who do it intentionally need to stop for their victim's emotional sake. The true reality is that the number of queers is on the rise. Not that influence has caused people to be queer, but that despite the possible danger, being true to onseff is more important that living to other's standards. If you'd like to co-sponsor us, that's wonderful, but that's not what I'm here for. The students of the GSA are asking you to merely support us. We want to have the assurance that you're not against our cause. You don't have to necessarily agree with homosexuality; simply, be tolerant and kind enough to allow our formation of our GSA. We need all the support we can get because there will be those who will want to stop us. We're not trying to encourage homosexuality in the school, but rather the TOLERANCE of it. It'd be beyond words to explain our gratitude if you choose to support our GSA. If not, it'd be also great to know you have no problem against it. I understand this is a very delicate issue, and we respect you decision. Thank you.

And then if they choose to support us, they can sign a petition or some other kind of document. Then there could be another paper for them to sign if they have no problem with our formation of the GSA.

So, what do you think? My speech and ideas okay?

patnelsonchilds's picture

A Couple of Suggestions

I've got a couple of suggestions. First, I think that using the term queer in this type of speech may be a little too in your face. Many heterosexuals, especially older ones, find that word very confrontational. In a speech designed to win people over, it may be better to use "gay and questioning" instead, just to soften things up a bit.

The other point that strikes me as a bit scary is where you say "The true reality is that the number of queers is on the rise. Not that influence has caused people to be queer, but that despite the possible danger, being true to onseff is more important that living to other's standards." I would phrase it in a little less frightening way, like perhaps:

"The reality is that more and more gay, bi and questioning youth these days are choosing to accept and explore their budding sexuality rather than bury it and spend their entire adolescence in fear and isolation."

That would allow you to lead your teachers nicely into how a GSA would benefit these kids without putting thoughts of some massive gay recruitment campaign into their heads.

Anyway, good job. I hope you are successful. I think GSAs are extremely important.

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay
characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"


www.myspace.com/patnelsonchilds

Toph's picture

Thank you. I admire your

Thank you. I admire your gift with words.

Jealousy. Yes, it fills me. But, no hate here :D Again, thanks.

~May the spirits guide your every move...to assure you please her in all the right places XD

haNa's picture

Really good

I think this is a really good speech other than a couple of things:

For example "Even if you don't agree with homosexuality" This seems like equivicates it with things such as political opinions, even religion. All of these are choices. That seems to reinforce the fear of 'recruting." Try 'accept', or something of the sort.

When you say gay and questioning... Its a little offensive. I know you don't mean to be! LBGTQ is wordy. But it seems like you're saying bisexual people are confused. Try including bisexual, and maybe transgendered.

And lastly:
" We want to make this school a safe and hopefully comforting pace rather than the place of dread and fear it is. "

This seems really agressive to me. You don't want to insult these teachers schools. I would try something like

"We want to make this school a safe and comforting enviroment for all students, and make sure that no student, no matter their sexual orientation, need dread coming to our school. I believe we can acheive this, but only with your support."

Just try to throw in there how much they would be doing. Make them feel important, revolutionary. Audiences (even people who have power over their speaker) tend to agree with those that make them feel good and powerful.

Other than that, awesome!!

Good luck.

patnelsonchilds's picture

Yes, but offensive to whom?

Keep in mind that this is not a speech for a LGBTQ audience. For the people she is going to be addressing, "gay" is pretty much going to cover the whole gamut. Otherwise, I wouldn't suggest such limited terminology either.

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay
characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"


www.myspace.com/patnelsonchilds

haNa's picture

Touche, however...

While this does seem the practical thing, I must disagree. Nigger is easier to say than African-American, yet the presence of white audience does not excuse this.

A teacher might have a bisexual or transgendered child or close pupil. Also, it would seem both relevant and important to inform these teachers that a GSA is not soley from 0s and 6s. Its intent is to welcome all sexual orentations and I think that this worth sounding a little wordy.

patnelsonchilds's picture

Hmmm

Your analogy is a bit shaky, haNa. Had she used the word "faggot", then the "nigger" comparison would be a valid. However, your point is well taken. Bi is not the same as gay and we mustn't perpetuate the myth that it is. I think that the distinction will largely fall on deaf ears, but if a tree falls in the forest, yada yada yada.

If you are going to be all-inclusive Toph, I suggest you use the terms bi and tran, leaving the sexua" part off. To me, the more one can do do promote the idea that this is not all just about sex, the better.

- Pat Nelson Childs
"bringing strong gay
characters to Sci-Fi & Fantasy"


www.myspace.com/patnelsonchilds