Cookies and Questions

“Ask a question and get a cookie.”

Cookies and Questions

“Ask a question and get a cookie.” Imagine asking a question that has been on your mind for a while, but then getting rewarded for asking it.  Every month since 2005, the Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) at DeForest Area High (DAHS), has hosted a Cookies and Questions study hall for those who have questions about the LGBTQ+ community.

GSA is advised by DAHS English teacher, Kate Boyce, who, in 2006, was approached by a student wanting  to create a club for those belonging to the LGBTQ+ community. Boyce recalls, “Of course I said yes, I want everyone here to feel like they belong and because the student came to me, I allowed them to use my room, making me the advisor for GSA.” And GSA has been around ever since.

GSA accomplishes many things, such as offering a safe place for students whenever they need somewhere to go and to ask any questions they have that aren’t typically taught in the classroom.

GSAnetwork claims “GSA helps benefit the community by having the LGBTQ+ kids and the other kids who aren’t part of it allied together and solve problems that are going on in society…GSA helps protect students from harassment on sexual orientation or gender-identity, and improve school climates for all the students in the long-term.” Just this alone provides a positive, long-lasting effect on students’ health, wellness, and academic performance.

Aster Lee, DAHS junior and GSA VP, affirms this: “I’ve been a member of GSA for 4 years, 1 year at the middle school and 3 years at the high school, and the biggest thing that impacted me to join was the fact that it was a safe space from homophobia and teachers.” Lee continues, “GSA has impacted my life by being a safe space. I know that if I never need a break or to talk about anything I can come here and do that. The biggest thing about GSA is being able to offer a safe space.”

GSA helps benefit the community by sharing information about the LGBTQ+ community for those who don’t know much about it, and by sharing the information people can help support the community more. Cookies and Questions is meant to help people figure out who they are and find answers to any questions they have about the LGBTQ+ community. Boyce says, “We host Cookies and Questions once a month and we use cookies to draw people in: ask a question and get a cookie.”

While researching this article, I attended a Cookies and Questions study hall. While I was there  everyone seemed to be really intrigued and every question asked got answered. When I arrived, I experienced a friendly and welcoming environment. While I was there I learned many new things about GSA, like what different sexualities are. 

Boyce concludes, “I love watching all the students at Cookies and Questions feel welcomed and safe; …one year at graduation, a student who I hardly ever saw thanked me for everything I had done for them, even though I hadn’t done much…just offering a safe place for someone means the world to them even if they don’t ever use it. It’s just something that’s nice to lean back onto if you need it.”

You can find Cookie and Question flyers in the halls a couple of weeks before their next meeting and from there you just sign up for Miss Boyce’s flex on A days.