Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Coalition
What is the GSA Coalition?
YPI’s Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Coalition is a youth organizing project connecting students from Rhode Island area high school GSAs to each other and to community resources. The Coalition empowers youth to share their experiences, strategies and ideas on combating homophobia, transphobia and related oppressions in their schools. Members of the GSA Coalition receive technical assistance from YPI staff, youth leadership opportunities, statewide networking and social events, and opportunities to participate in National Coming Out Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance and National Day of Silence.
What is the Coalition doing?
- Training and technical assistance
- Hosting an annual leadership conference with workshops on facilitation, increasing visibility and membership, public speaking, creating more inclusive GSAs, organizing across “-isms” and oppressions, and more!
- Youth leadership opportunities
- Social events
- Forums to collaborate with supportive educators
- Participating in the National Association of GSA Networks (NAGN)
Any Rhode Island area high school student involved in a GSA or interested in starting one is welcome to join the GSA Coalition to receive free resources, conference and event announcements, and much more. Just register your GSA, write, call or stop by!
A GAY-STRAIGHT WHAT?
Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are school-based groups created by and for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities who want to create positive change in their school environments and to work to create a school environment free of discrimination, harassment, and intolerance.
Why Do Schools Need GSAs?
- 69% of teens frequently hear students say “that’s so gay” or “you’re so gay”; expressions where “gay” is meant to mean something bad or devalued.
- 65% of teens have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted during the past year because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion.
- 90% of LGBT teens (vs. 62% of non-LGBT teens) have been verbally or physically harassed or assaulted during the past year because of their perceived or actual appearance, gender, sexual orientation, gender expression, race/ethnicity, disability or religion.
- 36% of teens indicate that bullying or harassment is a serious problem at their school.
- 53% of secondary school teachers say that bullying or harassment is a serious problem at their school.
From Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network: “From Teasing to Torment: School Climate in America,” (http://www.glsen.org/binary-data/GLSEN_ATTACHMENTS/file/500-1.pdf) Executive Summary, 2005.
What are area GSAs doing?
- Parent and community information nights
- Display cases at school to increase visibility
- Film showings and discussions
- Workshops and assemblies for students and teachers
- Day of Silence to highlight the way LGBTQQ people are silenced
- Improving school libraries’ supply of resources for and about lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues
Questions or Comments? Email firstname.lastname@example.org