By Maya H. When we first entered lockdown in California, I was in eighth grade. In August 2021, I stepped foot on campus for the Read More
How do I start a GSA club?
School-based GSA clubs, also known as GSAs, follow the same rules as all other extracurricular clubs. Most schools have policies that outline the procedures for starting a new club and often require a roster of 10+ students, an advisor, and bylaws. To help you navigate this process, find a supportive staff member in your school and download our 10 Steps for Starting a GSA resource! Be sure to register your GSA every year to receive our Year Start packet and the latest news from GSA Network. By registering each year, we’ll know that your club is still active and ready to receive support from our network.
How many GSAs are there?
The precise number of GSAs varies each year as new clubs are formed and some established clubs are discontinued due to a lack of continued leadership or support from teachers and school administrators. At least 40 states across the country have reported having GSA clubs in their high schools and middle schools. In California, there are more than 1,100 GSA clubs in our GSA Network. You must register your GSA for it to be counted in the network.
How is GSA Network responding to COVID-19?
In March 2020, the GSA movement to empower & train LGBTQ+ youth leaders transitioned from school-based organizing & community-building to digital movement-building. Until trans and queer young people can meet in-person, GSA Network will host virtual GSA meetings, provide resources for GSAs to meet and continue their work online, and offer wellness activities and resources. Learn more here.
Does GSA Network start or sponsor GSAs in schools?
No, because GSAs in schools are student-initiated and student-run. However, GSA Network does offer resources, training, and networking opportunities for students who wish to start or lead a GSA. We also support students in alternative school environments or community-based GSA clubs in areas where there are few GSAs established in schools (e.g. rural areas).
Can GSA clubs be banned from schools?
No. GSAs cannot be banned if other non-curricular student clubs are allowed to exist at the school. The Federal Equal Access Act and the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution require equal treatment for all non-curriculum related clubs regardless of the content of speech at club meetings. If administrators try to ban a GSA club, you can launch a campaign to get one at your school. Check out our Intro to Campaign Organizing to get started! You can also search for similar campaigns on our GSAs Unite! platform.
What impact do GSAs have on school climate?
Research shows strong correlations between the presence of school-based GSAs and a variety of positive effects on school climate, student health outcomes, and youth development. In fact, GSAs have been described as the “most potent forces for institutional change” in educational settings. LGBTQ+ youth who are actively engaged in a GSA club and/or other leadership training in their schools and communities are empowered to make healthier choices that positively impact personal wellness and academic achievement.
Are there GSAs in middle schools?
Yes. Harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity are also pervasive in middle schools and junior highs, according to data from the California Healthy Kids Survey. As of February 2013, there were 40 GSAs in middle schools in California registered with GSA Network.
Where is GSA Network located?
Headquartered in Oakland, California, GSA Network has regional field offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Fresno, and Los Angeles.
How can I get connected to GSA Network news and updates?
To get connected to us and receive email updates, click on the green @Get Updates button at the top right of this page.
If you would like to receive occasional text updates of our important campaigns, text “GSAs4Justice” to 52886 to subscribe.
Where can I find resources for adults who want to support GSAs?
Does GSA Network partner with corporations or for-profit entities to receive proceeds from product sales?
GSA Network does not typically enter into partnerships with corporations or for-profit entities to receive a percentage of product sales nor does GSA Network authorize the use of our name and logo before establishing a formal partnership. On a limited basis, we partner with large corporations that make one-time grant awards or charitable contributions that are not tied to the sale or promotion of products, services or individuals. A list of corporations that have supported us since 2018 can be found on our Supporters and Financial Information section. Please refer to this page if you have questions about whether GSA Network is in partnership with a specific corporation or for-profit entity.
GSA Network evaluates requests from corporations and for-profit entities on a case-by-case basis to ensure alignment with our mission and values. If you would like to inquire about a corporate partnership, please contact us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can GSA Network connect me to individual GSA clubs or members?