Every year, GSA Network hosts GAYLA, the GSA Advocacy & Youth Leadership Academy to train young people in the Central Valley, Northern California, and Southern California in advocacy organizing on local and statewide issues.

The 2016 GAYLAS were a great success. Stay tuned for the 2017 GAYLAS!

GAYLA participants will gain valuable leadership experience through a full day of training and advocacy activities to enhance their understanding on how legislation and policy affect our daily lives. 

The trainings happen throughout the state during the month of April.

Details of location and time will follow if you accepted to attend.


1. A young person between the ages 14-18

2. Committed to creating statewide and local change for trans and queer youth and uniting for racial and gender justice, specifically with a focus on advocacy, policy change, and school climate.

 To attend GAYLA, students must apply and be accepted.

Who should apply?

  • Youth (age 18 and under) who are interested in making their schools safer for trans and queer students should apply.
  • You must attend a California middle school or high school.
  • We are especially looking for students who are high school juniors or younger, since GAYLA youth often work on a campaign that continues into the next school year.
  • Middle school students can also apply.
  • Youth of color, low-income youth, and transgender and gender non-conforming youth are strongly encouraged to apply.

GAYLA 2016 was organized and sponsored by:

GSA Network Logo

Transgender Law CenterACLU of California Logo






After being a leader at GAYLA, students are encouraged to continue advocating for trans and queer youth in schools by:

  • Training members of your GSA in advocacy skills.
  • Serving as a media spokesperson in your region on GSA, safer schools, and TQ youth issues.
  • Making follow-up calls or visits with your lawmakers.
  • Joining the GSA Network’s Statewide Advocacy Council.
  • Organizing & participating in a campaign during the following school year to advocate for full implementation of the gender identity non-discrimination law in California schools, which may include visits with lawmakers and education officials, rallies, letter-writing campaigns, and speak-outs in your area.

Past Events  

GAYLA 2016 in NorCal was held on Saturday April 9, 2016 in Oakland. 

Read our blog about the event!

GAYLA 2016 in Central Valley held its Advocacy Training in conjunction with their annual youth conference Expression Not Suppression (ENS) on April 23, 2016. 

Read the recap of the event here!

Southern California held its Advocacy Training Day on Saturday April 30, 2016 in Los Angeles. 

Read about the SoCal GAYLA here.

GAYLA 2012 was held on April 29-May 1 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2012.

GAYLA 2011 was held on April 1-4, 2011 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2011.

GAYLA 2010 was held on April 23-26, 2010 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2010.

See quotes and photos from previous years below. 

Sec A Image: 

"I think the most valuable part was learning how to tell my story in a way that people outside the LGBTQ community could understand."

"The most valuable part was meeting all of the other LGBTQ youth. They really inspired me and reminded me of why I'm a straight ally."

      --2009 GAYLA Participants


GAYLA Participants receive intensive training and skills for their meetings with legislators.

Student activists also gain media skills at GAYLA.  Here Kyle Bodolay discusses LGBT youth issues with the local NBC TV station in Sacramento.