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Wednesday, Jan 27, 2021
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GLSEN spotlights GSA organization achievements
GLSEN spotlights GSA organization achievements
by Rajkhet Dirzhud-Rashid - SGN A&E Writer

Not only was it a cheery event for a rainy, gray start to the long Memorial Day weekend, but this year's GLSEN banquet honoring GSAs around the area also gave many who attended a first chance to see 43rd District Representative Jamie Pedersen's and partner's baby boy. And dressed in blue to match eyes like dad Jamie's, he was quite the hit with just about everyone who showed up for the banquet.

Pedersen, who is now one of two openly Gay legislators in Olympia, was also the keynote speaker, and told about his own coming out experience in Puyallup in the mid-'80s as a high school student. His story touched many, and made everyone cheer even more for the work Gay Straight Alliances from all over Western Washington have been doing in the last year, and for which they were honored at the banquet. Also speaking to the crowd of high school students from local and statewide GSAs was news reporter Bernard Choi from King Five News, who added levity to his comments by mentioning that when he first started as reporter, he had to cover the education beat, which reminded him of a not-so-great time in his own life: high school.

Honored the most out of the GSAs present was Mt. Si High School, the school that was as the center of a media blitz over their recent "Day of Silence" event, which addressed homophobia and the death of one of their own around coming out issues. Their advisor won Advisor of the Year, and many cheered for the choice, some even standing in a spontaneous standing ovation. Mt. Vernon High was also honored this year, and at the end of the ceremonies, a former SGN editor and GLSEN member urged those present to support these organizations and thanked the speakers and brave teens who continue to forge new territory in the battle against right wing hate propaganda. To support or find out more about GLSEN, visit www.glsenwa.org.

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