Welcome back to another installment in our new weekly Throwback Thursdays #TBT series. Each week, we’ll pick selected coverage and photos from our archives tofeature here.

With so much talk this week and last week about Time Out Youth, local LGBT students, their organizing in schools and successes in safer schools advocacy, qnotes thought it would be interesting to take a look back to Charlotte’s first-ever gay-straight alliance, or GSA.

In 2003, GSAs had begun forming across the state for several years, including in the Triangle and Triad. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and as reported at the time, 13 such groups existed in high schools across the state. At East Mecklenburg High School, senior David Sewell increased that number to 14 when he and 35 other students gathered to start their GSA, the first such group at a Charlotte-Mecklenburg school.

Today, more than 100 such groups exist across the state, including 28 in Time Out Youth’s seven-county service area.

In quite a delightful twist of fate, East Meck, of course, is the same school GLSEN’s current executive director, Eliza Byard, visited when she came to Charlotte last week.

Read more below. Click on images to enlarge.



[Ed. Note — qnotes makes no claims of ownership or copyright on materials not obtained from its or The Front Page‘s archives. All such materials are used for editorial and/or educational purposes only; this series is not being directly sponsored by any business or individual. qnotes releases its own protected, archived materials for editorial and/or educational use only, provided re-postings and re-publishings link directly back to this original article and qnotes is cited as the original source. Archived materials cannot be used for commercial purposes without prior, written permission from the publisher or editor. For any other concerns or questions, please contact editor@goqnotes-launch2.newspackstaging.com]

Matt Comer

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.