Every club has a story to be told, however, the Gender, Love, and Sexuality Alliance club is more than a space where narratives are recited. Instead, it is a space where one will discover the meaning of acceptance and empowerment.
“The atmosphere of the Gender, Love, and Sexuality Alliance club is very welcoming. We have members that are very compassionate towards others of different backgrounds. This has caused me to find a community of people who truly care about me,” Diego Fernando Ortega, a sophomore majoring in Biology and member of two years, said about the atmosphere of GLASA.
Ortega admitted that life has never been simple for him. After being raised by a single mother, moving around a lot, and living in poverty he wanted to help others — specifically the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. However, Ortega mentioned that helping the LGBTQ community can be difficult when students are discriminated against on Queens College’s campus. For instance, when transgender students enter the bathroom of the sex with which they identify, they are met with stares from other students or are told that they’re using the wrong bathroom. This causes transgender students to feel uncomfortable and highlights the need for more gender neutral bathrooms on campus.
It’s problems like these that are addressed in GLASA. GLASA brings the community closer together to resolve this persistent issue of LGBTQ acceptance. This close-knit community is why Jordan Mendoza, the president of GLASA, joined this club in his first year of college. He began to know more about what a person is and the meaning of identity by being an active member of this club.
“Don’t be afraid to branch out,” Mendoza advised the next-in-line president of GLASA.
GLASA is a club for all sexualities, even people who identify as straight. Mendoza even clarified that there is more to GLASA than it being a club on campus, “It’s a club where people will grow and the more people learn about the issues that arise in the LGBT+ community, the better their understanding will be on how to solve these problems.”
Mendoza hopes this club continues to help its members accept their identity and love themselves, which is part of the reason DJ Cortez joined GLASA this semester.
Cortez had previously joined the Gay Straight Alliance at another college he attended, but admits that the club wasn’t as big as GLASA.
“There are always people to talk to in GLASA if you do not feel as if you’re in a safe environment. The people in this club are comfortable to be around and accept other people’s sexuality,” Cortez, a junior majoring in psychology, explained.
Cortez is glad he joined this club, even though this is his first year in GLASA, and he can’t wait to take part in the Second Chance Prom the club holds in the spring semester. Students who want to know more can visit GLASA in the Student Union, Lower Level 7 or attend their Drag Show on November 30.