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Utah Teens Organize GSA’s in the Face of Adversity

January 11, 2011

Gay Pride


The St. George teens who launched Washington County’s first gay-straight alliance clubs this fall have caught the attention of the New York Times.

With a little nudge from the American Civil Liberties Union, GSAs were approved at Dixie, Snow Canyon, Pine View and Desert Hills high schools last spring. The Desert Hills club is the only one that has not been active this year. The number of GSAs in Utah has nearly tripled this year.

Times reporter Erik Eckholm describes the approval of the clubs as a “turning point” in “isolated” St. George. (What kind of descriptor would he use for Boulder, Hanksville or Fort Duchesne?)

Eckholm also profiles Jason Osmanski, president of the Snow Canyon GSA. Osmanski was one of several LGBT teens who shared his coming-out story for a Salt Lake Tribune story about the experiences of gay and transgender youths in Utah.

Once fearful of sharing his gay identity with friends and family, Osmanski now helps to create a safe place for other LGBT teens at his school.

“I definitely see a positive impact on the school,” Osmanski told me in an interview last month. “I know of a couple students who have recently come out because this club is here and this club provided help and resources for them to be able to come out safely…”

via Utah teens featured in New York Times | LGBT FYI | The Salt Lake Tribune.