The Washington County Gay Straight Alliance has facilitated a peer group for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Questioning, Queer, Asexual, and Allied (LGBTQA) youth, ages 21 and under, and provided resources since November, 2005. Kathy Cameron, Jennifer Newman, and Mary Jo Podgurski co-founded the community Gay Straight Alliance along with two high school students. Mark Swift joined the group as a facilitator/advisor in 2010. On August 29, 2012, we took the next step by forming a Nonprofit Corporation so that we may expand programming and services. Our long- term goal is to establish a welcoming Community Center in Washington. We filed with the IRS for tax-exempt status on March 7, 2013. In the meantime, we have a FHO (Funds Held for Others) Account with the Persad Center of Pittsburgh to enable us to accept donations.
On June 1, 2013, The Renaissance City Choirs of Pittsburgh graciously presented their Cabaret show to benefit the WCGSA. It was a very well-supported fun evening of entertainment. Through sponsorship, ticket sales, donations and the raffle we were able to raise money to provide means for some of the services we offer. We thank the Renaissance City Choirs for the donations of their time and talent to make our first fundraiser a success. We appreciate so very much their outreach to Washington County. On June 4, the WCGSA began a new support/peer group for LGBTQA young adults, ages 19-29. This is the beginning of the WCGSA expanding it’s programming. Some of our GSA members now have a group to age in to and we welcome any young people 19-29 to join us. Eighteen of our youth (20 and under) attended the GLSEN/GLCC sponsored Pittsburgh Youth Prom on June 8. Fundraising efforts allowed the WCGSA to pay for the bus this year. The youth had a great time feeling safe and accepted among peers.
The Washington County Gay Straight Alliance Meetings
Common Ground Teen Center
53 North College Street, Washington, PA 15301
(Between East Chestnut St. and East Beau St.)
Who & When (Ages):
Up through 18 - Tuesday, 6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
19 to 29 - First Tuesday of each month, 8:00 pm - 9:30 pm
The Washington Co. GSA strives to provide a safe, confidential environment for Washington County youth regardless of sex, race, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.
Washington County Gay Straight Alliance, Inc. is dedicated to affirming acceptance between diverse groups of people, raising awareness in our community of the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Transsexual, Questioning, Queer, Asexual, and Allied (LGBTQA) people through support, education, and community outreach on the issues of diversity. WCGSA, Inc. provides a safe, confidential environment for individuals of Washington County and the surrounding areas regardless of sex, race, disability, gender, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation.