Sheridan’s LGBT club is back as Gay Straight Alliance


Sheridan’s LGBT club is back up and running for another year – now if only they could agree on a new name.

Despite officially rebranding itself as the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA), the club’s own Facebook page is still using the old moniker “Pride.”

Liam Dennie, the organizer of the GSA and a Bachelor of Applied Information Sciences student says that renaming the club was the right move.

“It would probably make the group easier to find. The club spreads word of mouth and we’re getting flyers around the school.” he said. “I felt like it needed to be done, [I wanted] to spread awareness. It’s about creating a safe environment.”


The few meetings the GSA has had this year have been successful in Dennie’s opinion.

“No complaints yet. All the older students are surprised how many people are actually showing up each week,” he said.

Members gather on Facebook on the Pride group and discuss future meetings and set the group’s agenda.

“Apparently the past years had some drama within the group and then the GSA faded,” he said. “So I hoped that doesn’t happen this year.”

Maddy Vedelago, an Art Fundamentals student, has been to two meetings. Her experience with the club has been pleasant.

“It’s a very welcoming environment,” he said. “Everybody’s so comfortable to be around so we can have discussions.”

She says the name change from Pride to GSA was a good decision.

“Those who don’t identify as LGBT wouldn’t feel like they’re invading on a Pride space and could to support their friends,” he said.

Hannah Watchler, an Advertising and Marketing student, joked that she was dragged to the meetings by her roommate.

“I’ve never been part of a club before and I’ve met some really interesting and nice people,” she said. “It’s got a very open atmosphere that’s just fun, even for the allies.”

Watchler has mixed feeling about the name change.

“It’s about building awareness and support,” she said. “I feel like Pride would be a more effective name because we’re already such an accepting school with a huge queer population.”

The first GSA in Canada was started at Pinetree Secondary School in Coquitlam, British Columbia in 1998. The start of that GSA garnered national media attention and the members met with provincial Ministers of Education. This led to workshops to both educators and students about LGBT sensitive language that was inclusive as well as the tools to create their own GSAs.

Sheridan’s own GSA meets every Thursday from 6 to 8 p.m. You can join the Facebook group called Sheridan Pride Club for more updates.

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