GSA Summit

Mariana Riano, Staff Writer/ Cartoonist

On the 27th of February, Pembroke Pines Charter High School’s very own Gender and Sexuality Alliance Club attended the annual Broward County GSA summit. The event was hosted by the Broward College south campus this year. Here, a myriad of members from GSAs spanning several local schools came together for a day of socializing, learning, and building community through fun and informative activities. 

As traditional for the summit, the day was built around informational talks. Attendees could choose a handful of panels to attend throughout the day. Many were lessons in emotional learning and not related to the LGBTQ+ community per se, though the focus was on educating such youth with talks geared towards their identities. Discussions were held about safe sex, meditation, domestic violence, and pronouns. One of the panels was held exclusively for rising GSA presidents and vice presidents called “How to Build a Better GSA.” For many LGBTQ+ teens, it’s the only kind of education they will receive about identities.

At lunchtime, students were invited to sit in the Broward College dining hall and make new friends within the community. Chatter and laughter filled the room while the smell of fresh pizza floated through the air. For any typical student summit, this might have been a simple pause in the day to catch up with friends, but for those attending the summit, this small act of lunch meant so much more. 

Sitting in a room full of people who have gone through similar experiences, who not only understand, but truly relate, is magical to those who often have to live in silence. “The summit represents the issues we face, and the joy that we have, which we cultivate by being together,” says junior Andy Villar. “It’s a gathering place for the youth of our community.” Indeed, the GSA summit is an empowering reminder to LGBTQ+ teenagers that they are not alone.