A bunch of you have asked me how the first meeting of TCC’s GSA went last night. I’m still processing a little, but I can’t, in good conscience, keep you hanging.
It went well. I had some great food to set out, courtesy of the head chef of the culinary school (none of which *I* could eat, though – it must have been “seafood hors doeuvre” day at the college). I’d gone to the market for mini cans of soda and some chocolate to share. I had the WICKED cool buttons that Blue made for me. I printed out my Ten Things Tuesday list of why I’m an “out” ally. I printed out posters about how to be an ally, the list of 12 reasons why same-sex marriage will wreck society, and a quiz to find out if you MIGHT be heterosexual. Mr. Chili, fantastic support that he is, printed out a HUGE poster with the logo and a bunch of affirmations that GSA members agree to adhere to (we will report threats or actual violence, to myself or others, to the proper authorities; we will be open minded and tolerant, that sort of thing) that we all signed. I was ready.
It was a pretty good meeting, though it was FAR less well attended than I’d hoped. Xena reminded me, though, that Alcoholics Anonymous started out with just two members, and TCC’s president – who is one of six “out” college presidents in the country – mentioned that the first Boston Pride day consisted of about 60 people.
We had a total of nine: myself and the president, Xena and Organic Mama, and five students. One of the students, though, was someone I’d never met before – he came as a result of the announcement I’d put on the college’s portal. I was thrilled by that.
We didn’t actually DO anything; really, we just sat around and chatted. No one made any grand announcements – though the president DID say how pleased he was that we’d started this, how important he thought it was that we have a group like this on campus, how he wanted to know RIGHT AWAY if anyone ever felt intimidated or threatened, and how supportive he was of the entire project. After he left, we just hung around. No one made any assumptions, and I don’t think that anyone was particularly uncomfortable.
I think, for a first meeting, it was just about perfect.
We decided that it may be a good idea to start a daytime group, too, so I’m looking into finding a room we can use on alternate Mondays. It seems that a bunch of kids wanted to come but they were stuck at work or in classes; I’ve gotten several emails from students who told me that they were sorry to have missed the meeting and could I schedule some other time, so I’m starting to plan for a daytime gathering, as well.
All in all, it was pretty good. I was disappointed by the turn out, of course, but I’m getting over it. I suspect, with something like this, that a lot of students who are thinking of coming are going to hang back and watch to see if we’re for real and if enough people start showing up so that they don’t feel spotlighted (spotlit?). I’m hoping we’ll gain some momentum and get a good group going – I really do believe that this is an important group to have on campus, and I’m certain that the students who showed up last night will get the word out.
Thanks for asking, Everyone, and thanks so much for your support. It’s a little intimidating doing something like this from scratch, and I’m grateful for your encouragement.