The Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club that brings together LGBTQ and straight students to support each other, provide a safe place to socialize, and create a platform for activism to fight homophobia and transphobia.
Youth are coming out as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning at younger and younger ages. Far too many face pervasive harassment and violence at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity.
Research shows that youth harassed on the basis of sexual orientation are:
- More than twice as likely to report depression and seriously consider suicide
- More likely to become victims of violence
- 3 times as likely to report missing school in the last 30 days
While youth who are harassed report weaker connections to school and less support from teachers and other adults, research shows students with GSA clubs at their school feel safer and more supported.
Why Gay-Straight Alliance Clubs
GSA clubs provide a safety net for students during the coming out process. With a GSA club, youth break through the isolation to find support from peers and school staff. GSA clubs unite LGBTQ students, straight allies, and members of the school community who are committed to making schools safer and more accepting for LGBT students.
GSAs draw on the courage of LGBTQ youth and the commitment of straight allies working in partnership to build bridges, improve school climates, and change school policies. Strong, well-supported GSAs can have a major impact on the education environment and possess the power to transform individuals, school cultures, and educational institutions.
Our overall goal for fighting homophobia and transphobia in schools is to work as a youth-led group and empower them to educate their school communities, advocate for just policies that protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and violence, and organize in coalition with other youth groups across identity lines to address broader issues of oppression.