RBGSA provides a safe space for the LGBTQIA+ community

Izzie Marth, Staff Reporter

Riverside Brookfield’s Gay Straight Alliance, or RBGSA, is one of the many clubs that Riverside Brookfield High School offers. Janira Marquez and Jamie Grant Lewis are the two staff sponsors of the club. This club provides a safe place for people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community or for people who want to support this community.

RBGSA has been a club at RB for many years now. Jamie Grant Lewis is a new addition to the applied arts team at RB this year and it is his first year as a sponsor for RBGSA. The club is excited for their plans this year.

“One thing we are really looking forward to is tree decorating at the zoo, so we get to do that,” Lewis said. “I think our students look forward to just kind of being a part of a club that supports their identity and exploration and the community as well. So a lot of our students I think look forward to having that connection and support to something that they care about. Whether they are a member of the LGBT community or an ally.”

One of RBGSA’s main priorities is to show support for people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community and to let them know that they are not alone. Lewis talked about how he thinks this club is important to RB’s student body.

“I think this club is important because there is such a need for conversations around LGBT communities and issues,” Lewis said. “We need that kind of support to support students who may fall into that category and may want to be a part of supporting students who fall into that category.”

RBGSA promotes the idea that all high schools need to make sure that students who are part of this community feel safe and comfortable at their own school. Lewis elaborated on what kind of message he wants to send to students who want to join the club.

“We are a fantastic group of people who really care about the school and the community, and it is a fantastic club to come see change and come see support. We are here for you, so come on down,” Lewis said.

One of the members of this club is senior Madyn Dron. She has been doing this club since her junior year.

“My favorite thing about this club is that we are able to do social change and we get to raise up people in the LGBTQIA+ community,” Dron said.

Dron believes that helping the LGBTQIA+ community is important in promoting a safe and accepting environment.

“The message that I personally would want to send is that it’s ok and that you are you,” Dron said. “And you can be you, and it’s normal.”

RBGSA wants people who are members of the LGBTQIA+ community at RB to feel comfortable in their own skin and to not be afraid to be themselves. They meet at 7:20am on Wednesday in room 160.

“I think that this goes for everyone regardless of LGBT or not, it is just respect. Respecting people’s space, their identities, the way that they want to exist in the world and just allowing people to express themselves in the way they feel is true to their identities,” Lewis said. “And just being a nice human being and not being rude. And going out of your way to make sure that RB is a place where everyone feels safe and comfortable.”