On October 19, GSA Network will go purple for Spirit Day! Spirit Day is an annual day in October when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
Started by high school student Brittany McMillan, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) now coordinates Spirit Day every year. This year, GSA Network partnered with GLAAD to create a Spirit Day tool kit specifically for GSAs.
“Our GSA Statewide Advocacy council trip was amazing :). We split up into legislative and administrative advocacy committees and spoke to different leaders and partner groups. We were all really nervous, but in the end it went really great. The part that touched me the most is when one of the ladies from the School Board Association said, ‘Your group coming here and talking to us really made a difference.’"
- Christian Capulin, Modesto, Johansen High School
Heading into this weekend’s fall Statewide Advocacy Council retreat, we’ve got some exciting updates from Sacramento. One of the bills we fought for at Queer Youth Advocacy Day, Assemblymember Ammiano’s AB 1729, has been signed into law by Governor Brown!
On Saturday, Governor Jerry Brown signed SB 1540, which allows the state to adopt a new framework for public schools' social science and history coursework. Why does this matter for GSA activists?
This summer over 60 youth activists convened in San Francisco and Los Angeles for three jam-packed days of anti-oppression organizing and skills building at GSA Network’s youth-led Activist Camps. From workshops to small group discussions to simulations of school board meetings, youth activists learned cool new strategies, made awesome friends, and took away some key lessons to take back to their schools and communities. But if you missed it, don’t worry!
The California State Assembly made history last week by passing a landmark bill that will ban psychological abuse inflicted on LGBT young people by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able change their sexual orientation or gender expression.
Latreece Whitfield is the Network Program Coordinator at Ohio's Kaleidoscope Youth Center, which is part of the National Association of GSA Networks.
I hadn’t been Policy Manager at GSA Network for a full day when already GSA leaders scored another huge win for safe schools for all students. On Wednesday, August 8, the Joint Legislative Audit Committee heard testimony from youth from SoCal and the Central Valley about their schools’ failure to protect LGBTQ students.