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The Thornhill Secondary School Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a group designed to create a space free of discrimination where all students, regardless of sexual orientation, can speak freely and honestly about a multitude of issues without worry of reproach.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Gay-Straight Alliance?
The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a school club designed to create a space free of discrimination where all students can discuss topics and participate in activities related to Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgender (LGBT) issues.

Do I need to be gay to join?
No, this group is for all people regardless of sexual orientation.

Isn't the name restrictive?
Although the name does exclude terms for many groups, it was our decision to use GSA instead of one with more terms in order to avoid an unwieldy and long name. We also wanted to be frank with the name and not disguise it with metaphors and iconography. Furthermore, the standard and most popular term for such groups is GSA.

Do I have to sign up or give my name to join?
No, no one is required to disclose their name or sign up for anything. Confidentiality is a priority. People are free to attend at will and may drop in or leave at any time. If you want to receive e-mail updates, then you may offer your e-mail address. However this is only a personal option.

What does the GSA do?
During our meetings, we often discuss contemporary LGBT issues, such as homophobia, representation in the media, equal rights, etc. We also watch videos and movies related to said topics. Finally, we work on raising awareness and promoting tolerance and acceptance within the school and community.

Where and when is the GSA?
The GSA runs every other Tuesday after school at approximately 3:10 in Room 204.

What if I have questions or comments?
You may email any questions or comments to

Lesbian: A woman whose sexual orientation is to women.
Gay: Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of the same sex.
Bisexual: Of, relating to, or having a sexual orientation to persons of either sex.
Transgender: Appearing as, wishing to be considered as, or having undergone surgery to become a member the opposite sex.
Transsexual: One who wishes to be considered by society as a member of the opposite sex/ one who has undergone a sex change.
Queer: Of or relating to lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, or transgendered people.

What We've Accomplished

2003/2004 Attended a P-FLAG meeting, where we spoke to Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Three members of the GSA gave very moving presentation to a few grade nine ‘family studies’ classes, presenting the moving stories of ‘coming out’ and the dealing with everyday life. The GSA took part (and organized) The AIDS Walk, Which was a big success.

2002/2003 Four members of the alliance gave a touching presentation to two of the grade 9 family studies classes. The presentations went very well and the grade 9's response was much better than expected. Members of the GSA attended Come As You Are (a confrence on teen sexuality). Many speakers were present for the event, as well as representation from many schools in Toronto. The confrence was a rewarding experience and allowed the group to make contact with other similar alliances. The GSA was part of a school wide campaign entitled "Power In Diversity" in which students wore t-shirts sporting logos empowering diversity in all forms. The GSA hosted two information tables during lunch hours at school. The first of which occured on club day and promoted the GSA as a club within the school. Members also made a presentation during the clubs assembly to promote the GSA. The second table was hosted on the Day of Silence and encouraged students to remember the plights some queer youth face in high school and eliminate homophobia from their daily lives.

2001/2002 An anti-homophobia assembly was held in different formats on all grade levels. Many guest speakers were available for this event and presented very diverse views on issues facing and concerning queer people currently. The GSA held its first its first Day of Silence, also called the Shut Up Shulman campaign. All monies raised went to fund the anti-homophobia assembly. The day was a sucess and many teachers, staff and students participated and took a vow of silence for the cause. The GSA survived its first year as a club and that may be considered an achievement in and of itself!