National Gay-Straight Alliance Celebration comes to Midlands

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By Rochelle Dean

(WOLO) COLUMBIA,S.C, --

Celebrating differences instead taunting each other for them. That is where South Carolina Equality Executive Director, Ryan Wilson would like to see schools headed in the future. Right now Wilson says the bullying associated with alternative lifestyles can lead to isolation and even suicide.

The Gay Straight Alliance which acts as a "safe place" for youth in various schools across the state is trying to help others feel comfortable with being who they are, while showing others how to give support.

Wilson says studies show GSA in schools can lessen bullying, helping Gay, Straight, Bi-Sexual, Lesbian and Transgender students do better academically.

With an ongoing debate over whether or not to let openly gay boy scout members serve in the club, Wilson says he knows not everyone is ready to focus on tolerance and acceptance.

"whether or not you accept gay and straight individuals, whether you believe it's okay, i think we can all come to a core value that every young person is important and deserves a safe space."

To Mark this year's celebration, SC Equality has re-launched a facebook fan page, a new fundraiser campaign and released a new logo.

To find out how you can help or get more information about starting a gay -straight alliance at your own school log onto: facebook.com/scgsanetwork
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