GSA hosts guest speaker

Randy Wiger, from Seattle Parks and Recreation, encourages members to get involved in upcoming activities

Kellen Reeder, Staff Reporter
Originally published October 25, 2013

Randy Wiger has a message for the GSA: Get involved. Wiger, a parks and commons coordinator for Seattle Parks and Recreation, attended a GSA meeting to talk about opportunities for involvement with other GSA groups and in the LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning) community.

Wiger, who is gay, explained that his outreach has a personal connection because these kinds of programs weren’t available 23 years ago when he came out. Wiger is working to increase what these programs offer to include an all-city GSA dance, an LGBTQ Beach Party at Alki, and Week Without Violence. Week Without Violence operates under a banner of “Stop the Violence. Increase the Peace. Break the Silence”.

Wiger shared information about new LGBTQ program offerings at Seattle Parks and Recreation Life Centers. Teen Life Centers offer multiple program options for Seattle Teens, including special events, “late night,” computer labs, cooking classes and more. Wiger compared Life Centers to community centers, but the focus is on serving large numbers of teens.

These opportunities got the attention of at least one GSA member “I’m probably going to go to the dance so I can have contact with other LGBTQ teens,” senior GSA member Raven Two Feathers said.

Wiger is encouraging GSA to participate in a youth learning opportunity called “Bearing Witness.” He suggests that this project can help recruit LGBTQ youth of all races, and their allies, through their participation in poetry slams, dance competitions and musical presentations.

Wiger generated some excitement as GSA immediately began talking about activities and their potential participation. “I really want our group to participate in any event that allows us to meet students in other GSAs,” senior President Maddie LeClair said.

The message that Raven Two Feathers got from the guest speaker was a fortunate one. “A need to see a blast from the past to know how fortunate we are,” said Two Feathers. The meeting was held on October 3.