11th Annual Countywide GSA Dance


Dao Trac, Staff Reporter

On the 3rd of May, the 11th Annual Countywide GSA Dance was held at the Chapel on the Hill in Seminole. This school function was funded by Pinellas Youth Pride. Pinellas Youth Pride consists of educators, business executives, clergy, a school board member, a certified public accountant, marketing executives, and other people from the committee. It is an all-volunteer, non-profit organization that works towards creating a safer environment for adolescents, particularly for those on the LGBTQ spectrum.

This annual dance was created twelve years ago, beginning with The Sexual Minority Youth Committee, which was funded by the Juvenile Welfare Board at the time. The Sexual Minority Youth Committee was banned and was re-organized into Pinellas Youth Pride.

The intentions of this dance were purely for supervised fun; it is a spark of hope in the darkness for those of the LGBTQ community. The dance was a way for the minority to feel as if they are part of the majority and to freely express themselves.

It began with upbeat music, played by DJ Tasco who managed to get people up on their feet as the night progressed. Everyone took turns at the photobooth, adorned in glasses, hats, and masks. For the time being, worries were forgotten and gift cards awarded throughout the night. As the dance came to an end, music took a slow turn and Same Love by Macklemore was played. The energy of the room diminished into a gentle ambiance and lovers wrapped themselves in each other’s arms.

“We plan on having the dance for as long as students are interested and from what we see every year, there isn’t an end in sight…We will be working with the Gay Straight Alliance’s (GSA’s)  in Pinellas County high schools to see what other type of events students would like to participate in…As adults we are honored to do this work and to provide the opportunity for everyone to come together and be in an environment of safety and value,” Chairperson of Pinellas Youth Pride, Lynn Mattiace said.