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Expression Not Suppression 2016 Lives Up to Its Name

Last Saturday, GSA Network youth leaders in the Central Valley came together for the Expression Not Suppression (ENS) conference in Fresno. This annual conference has become a part of LGBTQ youth life in the central valley, with many participants coming multiple years and some of them even volunteering to help run the event. 

This year, ENS featured workshops on topics like how to improve your GSAs, fighting the gender binary, health and sex education access for queer and trans youth, how funding happens in schools, and why students should be involved. The day concluded with a youth dance and drag performance where ENS lived up to its name; one youth in particular who participated in the drag show blew everyone away, flying through the air and showering themselves with bottled water on the dance floor. We were all suprised to learn it was their first performance ever.

Shear Avory: We Can Transform California

As a multi-racial, Black and Indigenous, Trans-Gender-Non-Conforming femme youth of color and advocate, I am immensely appreciative of the opportunity to have represented youth inclusion and movement at the announcement of Transform California on Monday, April 18 alongside Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, West Hollywood Councilwoman Lindsay Horvath, Transgender Law Center Executive Director Kris Hayashi, Equality California Executive Director Rick Zbur, TransLatina Coalition Member Maria Roman, and community activists and allies.

Transform California is an unprecedented public education campaign spreading awareness and equality for transgender and gender nonconforming Californians. Founded by the Transgender Law Center and Equality California and led in development by 30 organizations, including GSA Network, Gender Justice LA, Familia Trans Queer Liberation Movement, TransLatina Coalition, ACLU of Southern California, and the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Transform California is at the vanguard of the growth, development, and wellness of our intersecting communities and in the intersecting movements of equality.

G.S.A. Takes On A New Meaning

GSA Network evolves its name to be more inclusive of all LGBTQ+ youth leaders

Santee GSA Leaders Win "It's Just a Toilet" Campaign

This afternoon, Santee Education Complex in Los Angeles announced the opening of the first gender-neutral restroom in Los Angeles Unified School District. The youth-led campaign, “It’s Just a Toilet,” initiated the change, which Dean of Students Jose Lara supports.

Using Policy to Empower Trans and Queer Youth: GSA Network’s First GAYLA of the Year

Last Saturday we kicked off our first of GSA Advocacy & Youth Leadership Academy (GAYLA) of the year with our Northern California regional youth leaders. The day was focused on how youth can use their experiences and their voices to push for state policies that promote equity for trans and queer lives, especially for people of color.

GSA Youth Leaders Engage Congressman Mike Honda at the Transgender Equality Task Force Roundtable

GSA Network youth leaders attended an event hosted by Congressman Mike Honda today on protecting the rights of trans students. The Transgender Equality Task Force Roundtable convened a group of LGBTQ leaders in San Jose to discuss how to prevent sex-based discrimination against transgender students in school and suicide prevention.

Ginna Brelsford, co-executive director for the GSA Network, spoke on the panel, as well as representatives from Transgender Law Center, Gender Spectrum, the Trevor Project and National Center for Lesbian Rights. The audience for the round table included parents and school board members from throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and San Jose.

The conversation about protecting trans students from unfair targeting and punishment in schools focused on a recent decision from the U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights that affirmed the inclusion of gender identity and gender expression in Title IX protections 

GSA Student Leaders At the Forefront of Clovis Unified Vote to Change the Dress Code

 

Following months of organizing, including students protesting by wearing dresses to school and a student-led petition signed by more than 3,500 people, Clovis Unified students will start to see some progress on a long-outdated dress code. The school board voted tonight to take out gendered parts of the student dress code that banned male students from wearing earrings and dresses. The ban catalyzed an organizing effort on behalf of GSA student leaders, parents and ACLU advocates because of its potential to put trans and gender nonconforming students at risk of targeting and discriminatory punishment by school administrators.

"Visibility is self love": GSA leaders celebrate Trans Day of Visibility 2016

March 31 was Trans Day of Visibility, and many of our GSA Network youth activists took time out to celebrate our community. In particular, the GSA Network Northern California region held an open mic in downtown Oakland, and the California TRUTH (Trans Youth) Council created a video discussing why trans visibility is so important--and why we need more than visibility for our trans communities. Check out the photos and video below!

Harnessing the Power of Youth Activists' Stories: the New Communications Team at GSA Network

Earlier this month, we joined the GSA Network as the new communications team. We are excited to join this network of more than 1000 GSA clubs throughout the state of California, as well as the National Association of GSA Networks, which includes 41 member organizations supporting LGBTQ youth in 40 states or across the country.

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