by Matea Kulić
It may come as a surprise that King George Secondary School, just a stone’s throw from the vibrant Davie Gay Village in Vancouver, was without a Queer Straight Alliance (QSA) only six months ago.
“I was shocked,” says Student Support Worker Deona Zammit, describing the atmosphere of homophobia when she first started at the school. She recounts how some kids yelled out “Yes it is!” while she was tacking up a series of school board sanctioned “Sexuality is Not a Choice” posters.
“There used to be a lot of name calling in every classroom,” QSA Student Leader Sienna St. Laurent says. “Someone asks a question and another turns around and say’s ‘that’s so gay’. They don’t think about how they use these words as part of their vocabulary.”
When Deona and Sienna teamed up to start the QSA in November they rectified the noticeable absence of King George on the school board’s list of QSA’s. Now every highschool within the City of Vancouver has one.