Two youngsters who have founded a Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at their schools were nominated for an award. Costas Vermeer, pupil of secondary modern school Pieter Nieuwland College in Amsterdam was nominated by magazine 7Days for the Youngster of the Year Award.
Nick Vijn, student of Floral Design at the Clusius College in Alkmaar was nominated in the category Outstanding in Intermediate Vocational Education.
Last year, Costas started his GSA during Purple Friday. He tells 7Days that ‘With a GSA in place, homosexuality, other sexualities and gender identification becomes more discussable. I notice that in my school, people now talk about it without considering it a taboo subject’.
Nick Vijn is the student Champion in the art of flower arrangement, but that is not the only reason why he was nominated for the Outstanding in Intermediate Vocational Education Award. His school also appreciates him for his commitment to the LGBT community as leader of the GSA at his school.
A GSA is a group of students campaigning and organising activities for a safer climate for LGBTs. They think of campaigns and activities they carry out themselves, and participate in national campaigns, such as Purple Friday. Gay interest group COC supports GSAs with free campaign material and by organising conferences. Visit www.gaystraightalliance.nl for more information.