GSA works to establish equality, acceptance

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By Mercedes Jaudon / Staff Writer

By Mercedes Jaudon / Staff Writer

The Gender and Sexualities Awareness Club wants to make a difference, instead of being a club that no one knows or cares about.

The club wants to start by offering students peer support, help in realization, acceptance and personal growth.

The club’s purpose is to educate the community about people society considers different, answer questions that anyone might have and help club members embrace their sexual identity and associated gender.

“I like being a member of club GSA because it has a lot to do with real life, and current issues in American society,” said Stephanie Drago who is currently running for vice president of the club.

They would like to generate an understanding of people from different cultures.

“I have never met anyone more dedicated to something they believe in than the members of GSA,” she said.

Drago wanted to join a club that she was passionate about and that represented her, the gender and sexualities awareness club has helped her come out of the closet.

“GSA is very involved with the community by helping people, no matter who they are, with being open and comfortable with themselves,” said club member Nelson Osorio.

This club has helped many of its club members with support in expressing themselves as well as tearing down stereotypes of gender and sexuality in society.

“I had problems at home with my parents not accepting who I am and GSA has helped me with that,” Osorio said.

The club plans on meeting their goals by having organized, committed individuals who lead the club. They are going to have workshops, concerts, open forums, events at parks and picnics.

Not all events the club holds are on campus, they try and make an effort to meet off campus every once and a while, holding some of events at Back to the Grind Coffee Shop.

Throughout the year the club will be providing workshops on coming out, transgender awareness, safe sex and feminism.

They also hold benefit concerts throughout the year with different artists giving back to the community and to those less fortunate.

They are networking with other clubs such as Feminist Unite Club, Ujima, International Club and Alpha Gamma Sigma Club.

Gender and Sexualities Awareness Club is in the process of networking with other clubs off campus such as Jeffery Owens Community Center and University of California Riverside.

Meetings are held every Thursday from 12:50-1:50 p.m. in the Quad in Room 121.

The president, Joey Reynoso, is at every meeting helping the club members stay organized and trying to succeed and accomplish the club goals. Anyone can join these meetings.

There are about 150 club members and 87 people joined Gender and Sexualities Awareness at Club Rush on Sept. 21 and 22.

Along with meetings every week, they hold several events and plans on having a lot more.

LadyFest was a nonprofit event run by volunteers that featured female artists. The club did a workshop at the LadyFest that talked about gender roles in the gay community.

This October they have many events planned.

Riverside Pride will be held on Oct. 9 behind the Back to the Grind Coffee shop in the parking lot on Orange and University.

This event will be from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

On Oct. 16 they are having a Picnic at Fairmount Park and this will start around 2 p.m.

On Oct. 29 the Quad will be hosting an event, Halloween town.

All willing clubs will join and decorate the Quad, in the spirt of Halloween.

“We’re excited to be back,” Drago said.

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