AHS GSA partners with Gay Ski Week for first time

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Kayla Tehrani

Aspen High School Gay-Straight Alliance club gathers around pride flags hanging in the lobby of AHS.

Aspen Gay Ski Week has been an event in Aspen for 43 years, and for the first time, this year, the Gay-Straight Alliance and some administrators at Aspen High School worked with AspenOUT, to represent people 21 and under into Gay Ski Week.

The Aspen High School Gay-Straight Alliance has been at AHS since 2015. The club provides a safe space for LGBTQ+ kids to hang out as well as allies to show their support, but they are mainly an awareness group. This year, for the first time, they partnered with AspenOUT, which is a non-profit promoting tolerance and understanding both locally and nationally, to bring an event for people ages 21 and under to make them feel safe and not alone.

On Saturday, January 18, the AHS GSA, along with AspenOUT, brought together a bunch of youth, and gave out pride flags, and showed their pride. They all gathered and went ice skating at the rink at CP Burger. This event was led by the leaders of the AHS GSA, Aiden Krause and Chamberlain Peacock, as well as AspenOUT.

“They didn’t allow anyone under 21 to be at pride, so we decided to make a safe space for people who are under 21 to participate in Gay Ski Week through ice skating,” Krause said.

Vince Johnson was on the board of directors for AspenOUT. He also helped grow the high school GSA to what it is now, and now is running a GSA in the middle school. He hopes the kids that attended this event felt a sense of community around them, supporting them.

“Saturday, we paid for all the students to go ice skating at CP Burger, and then we bought all of their lunches for the day, just to help them feel like they’re not alone,” Johnson said.

Kim Zimmer, who is a co-sponsor of the AHS GSA, feels that this collaboration sends a very positive message when the school is in sync with the community.

“I think it helps to connect it for students that are in the GSA and just know that they’re not only supported here at school, but also that there are supporters outside of school when they get older, and there are events that can bring the community together,” Zimmer said.

Their event turned out to be a great success, with some celebrity presence.

“There were two drag queens and a trans girl from LA that was there, and then a celebrity from reality TV,” Peacock added.