When we consider the concept of diversity, we intuitively focus on our physical characteristics. But it goes way deeper than that, encompassing our values, beliefs, geographical location, gender, sexuality, and so much more. It is the beauty of our distinctions that enrich our humanity.
This year, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Club established itself as an official organization within the Ramapo High School community. The advisor of GSA, Ms. Mitchell, says that, “The overall goal of this club is to provide a safe and positive space for people: white, black, brown, gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, agender, queer, questioning, curious, etc.” Ms. Mitchell is extremely welcoming (her door is literally kept wideopen).
Any student who considers themself an ally or an advocate can join the club. At the meeting, I spoke with club members who want to spread awareness and generate acceptance at Ramapo; they created many LGBTQ+ flags to display around the building. I have great respect for this strong population of students at our school, and through my awareness, I have further grown in understanding.
GSA is a unique club that allows its members to actively support human rights. Interestingly, all humans actually share many more similarities than differences. We strive to embrace our differences because the world would indeed be a dull place if we were all the same. But mostly, when I consider the concept of diversity, I feel that the solution to a peaceful environment is simple: tolerance. I believe that it is vital to master the art of listening. When we restrict ourselves and place conditions on our thoughts, we might inadvertently exclude ourselves from what might have been a wonderful experience. To combat stereotypes, we must sustain mental freedom and continually have open minds. It is only when you overlook the typical misconceptions about others that you can truly integrate yourself into school, society, and the world in a meaningful way.
By: Caroline Kinkella ’19, Editor-In-Chief
Featured Photo: GSA decorated a bulletin board dedicated to LGBTQ+ history (Photo Courtesy of Pierce Hovey).