GSA: We are the Change!


For many people the prospect of living a “normal” existence is expected and unquestioned. For others, it is considered abhorrent to only live a normal life. But, as the GSA recently learned from their guest speaker, Joe Norton, sometimes a normal life is all a person wants. Joe Norton works with the Broadway Cares Foundation as a Director of Education and Outreach. When asked what the ultimate goal is when raising awareness and speaking to different organizations, he simply said, “ Normalcy- that’s all we really want.” A good way to help create and perpetuate this idea of normalcy is through creating or joining groups, such as the GSA, which promote a safe space environment, and allows for these issues, that are too often viewed as controversial or taboo, to be discussed openly.  Allowing people to see differences also allows them to realize that we aren’t so different after all. Living a normal life, through getting a job, getting married, or having children, should not be decided on who you love; it should be granted to everyone without question. When you piece apart these issues that are so often categorized as Gay Rights, they quickly go from Social Rights, to Civil Rights, to basic Human Rights.

Because the fight for equal rights has been going on for so long, there are many who question if it is even possible for everyone in this country to have the right to normalcy. During an interview with Lodi’s own Jimmy Scalia, Mr. Norton revealed that he wholeheartedly believes that we will reach equality. “There’s a lot of motion right now, especially with the younger generation,” says Norton. “They’re more accepting of different sexes and races compared to when I was in high school. I graduated from Lodi in 1980, and I never thought people this young would be like this.” This makes me even prouder to be a student here at LHS.

Perhaps the most important lesson that any of the Gay Straight Alliance members took from the session with Mr. Norton is that we are the change. Our generation has brought about the most progress in this fight for normalcy and understanding. The best of social change is now; we are the catalyst for making a difference. Our voices are the ones that have the power to silence the hate, and we are winning.