Horror for the Homeless

Atlee Barrow and Alyssa Rash, Junior Reporters

While going to see a movie after school seems like a fun time, for everyone that went to Rocky Horror on Sunday the 28th, they were also helping a great cause. By paying $3 or $5 to get into the show, they helped support homeless youth in Colorado Springs.

Jessica Moen, an English teacher at MSHS, is also one of the sponsors of the Manitou GTSA (Gay Straight Trans Alliance).

“GSTA is an open space for acceptance and tolerance. We are a club of advocacy and allies.  If anyone feels like they don’t have a place or just want to be there for others, that’s what this club is all about. There’s a higher percentage of LGBT students who become homeless that are victims of domestic violence in their families, so we strive to be a safe place to bring topics up while spreading them throughout the school,” Moen said.

GSTA had a showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show to raise funds for Urban Peak, a homelessness shelter in the Springs. The GSTA chose this movie because it expresses that showing who you are is acceptable and shouldn’t be looked down upon.

“In the movie there’s lots of cross-dressing, transvestite and a real sense of otherness altogether, creating something like an accepting forum. The film is also a cult classic that’s shown every year on Halloween including audience interactions,” Moen said.

Moen didn’t actually attend the showing; she wanted the students to be able to do a project on their own. She help them when they needed it, but other than that, she made sure that she stayed out of the way. “It’s an unchaperoned event. We want these students to be comfortable in their own space,” said Moen

Even though the event was unchaperoned, Chloe Armstrong (11) found the event to be extremely put together and she enjoyed the experience. “It was fun. Most of the time there were things that went along with the movie. Rocky Horror is very interactive. The audience would say certain things at certain times. There were so many scenes where the audience has to interact with the movie,” Armstrong said.

Armstrong is not the only person who had a good time at the event. “My friends and I dressed up like everyone else, ate junk food and laughed all throughout the film. It was overall a really great time,” said Paige Smith (12).

Even though the purpose of a showing a movie is to have fun, there was a very important reason why GSTA showed the movie. GSTA is trying to raise funds for the homeless.

“We are still raising funds for our annual Night Out where we try to raise awareness for the obstacles of the homeless, by society trying to end the problem. Meaning we participate in different scenarios where we try to mimic what it’s like to get documentation required for drivers licenses or to obtain jobs or housing. The funds we raise are donated to homeless shelters like Urban Peak which also services children. It takes roughly $71 a night to host a homeless person– to provide a meal, bed, and hygiene for them,” Moen said.

While GSTA is currently doing their project to raise money for teen homelessness, they also do different events. “In the spring we will participate in the Day of Silence. It’s in honor and memory of people that have died as a result of hate crimes against the LGBT community. It’s a day where people who choose to vow silence remain silent the whole day, we also tend to parade around signs that educate others why we’re staying silent. Hopefully, we get some questions about the issues and discuss. Our Night Out with the homeless is probably our biggest project every year,” Moen said.