By: Claire Munley – Sophomore Staff Writer
Red Bank Regional’s GSA, Gender and Sexuality Alliance, has always been a place of education, acceptance and inclusivity. This club, run by RBR Source supervisor Stacy Liss, provides a safe space for students to meet, learn and support each other. Regardless of the topic–which can range from politics to coming out advice and beyond–the club members discuss issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity/expression and work together to end homophobia and transphobia in the school environment. After gaining a significant number of members over the past several years and hosting last year’s GAYLA prom, the group was thrilled to hear that they caught the attention of an amazing man.
Anthony Giorgio, a local actor, producer, and LGBTQ+ activist visited RBR’s GSA family with an exciting project. Over the past few months, he has been developing a queer teen podcast to educate the public and fight discrimination by showcasing and encouraging the next generation of Queer Youth across the world to stand up for what’s right.
“I started to record the podcast because I believe social media/podcast is a great platform for people to have another way to connect, especially if you live in a place that seems nearly impossible to relate or connect with anyone inside of your school, social gatherings or at home,” Giorgio stated. “I want to give Queer teens a place to talk and share their exact experience. I want them to represent their community and no one else.”
Giorgio also described the importance of “educating [both] those who identify as Queer or don’t, because when you get right to the point and share your experience, someone out there will relate to you. One of my new friends recently [coined the term] “Rainbow Enthusiast,” meaning we have to come together and be with each other instead of against each other. All the colors of the world. Queer Youth is the new frontier of how Queer History will thrive and 100% stay alive.”
Taking advantage of the opportunity to participate in this podcast, Liss selected four diverse students to speak their truth and share their challenging yet important stories about their identities and coming out. “It is my mission as the GSA advisor and as a Clinical Social Worker to support all students in having a voice,” Liss said. “Opportunities for youth who identify as LGBTQ+, such as the Queer Teen Podcast, Annual GAYLA, and GSA Forum, give young people the platform to speak their minds, be themselves and have fun!”
She added, “The Queer Teen Podcast really gets up close and personal with the students. The group explored topics such as gender and sexual identity, coming out, transitioning, and acceptance of family and friends, and the participants were open and forthcoming. We are one of several schools participating in this project and we are so thankful that Anthony Giorgio, who is the Podcast creator, included us.”
The following photos show the club members, Ms. Liss, Anthony and other podcast members during the launch party on January 18th.
The podcast officially launched this February and our school’s feature will be published later this month! To follow the podcast and future events, follow Anthony’s and the GSA’s Instagram pages, @queerteenpodcast and @rbrshgsa!