THS Gay-Straight Alliance


Virgil Storm

THS Gay-Straight Alliance honors and shares awareness of Transgender Day of Remembrance.

Virgil Storm, Staff Writer

TELLURIDE– Telluride is home to different personalities and identities, and within this diverse community is the Telluride High School.

Among the many clubs offered at THS is the Gay-Straight Alliance.  This club specializes in creating an environment where everyone can be safe and comfortable. It is also very accepting of all students, regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and differences of opinion.

THS senior Mariam Hoover is the GSA secretary.   Hoover said that the group aims to create safe spaces around the school and make sure all students feel safe, especially LGBTQ+ and other minorities.  

The club educates the THS population on language usage and spreads awareness on LGBTQIA+ topics and more.  THS English teacher and GSA adviser Marion Proud said that they are planning for the participation in local events, promoting safety in the schools and creating a survey to gather student input on experiences at school.  

THS senior Brenda Gutierrez is the GSA president. She said their focus is use of language around the school and school culture. 

As of right now, the members of the club are working on projects such as: an art mural at the Ah Haa School For the Arts, making a Pride float for the parade on the Fourth of July and a screening of shorts depicting equality for everyone.

“I want everyone to feel welcome and accepted and I think that this club is a start,” Gutierrez said.

Proud brings a unique background to the club because she taught and lived in both India and Peru. Hoover is her daughter, and she also lived in India and Peru.  Proud said that each school has had a different approach to GSA.

“Indian culture is very open to LGBTQ+ people, especially transgender people because transgender people are a big part of India’s history and traditions that still exist to this day,” Proud said.  She added that she found Peru to be less tolerant of the LGBTQ+ community. 

Hoover recalled the value in having a GSA club.

“In India, we had a GSA in high school, which allowed students to gain a better understanding of the LGBTQ+ community as a whole, as well as learn more about minority groups,” Hoover said.  

She also had a different experience than her mother in Peru, and said that people were fairly accepting of the LGBTQ+ community.  

Hoover says of the schools she attended, she feels THS is less accepting of the LBGTQ+ community.  Proud, on the other hand, offered a different perspective.

“This school is more accepting than other schools, especially Peru,” Proud said. 

GSA meets every Wednesday, during lunch in Proud’s room (313).  There are currently 11 members, including the club’s advisor. Everyone is welcome, and anybody can attend the meetings.

“People should attend because they can learn more about minority groups and make friends,” Hoover said.

Proud said the club is comprised of multiple, different, colorful personalities.

“It is an opportunity to learn about the differences of romantic and other attraction, and to work on issues of diversity and inclusion, and learn more about the complexity of identity,” Proud said.