GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
Our overall strategy for fighting for educational justice is to work with grassroots, youth-led groups and GSAs, empowering them to educate their schools and communities, advocate for just policies that protect LGBTQ youth from harassment and violence, and organize in coalition with other youth groups across identity lines to address broader issues of oppression.
All of our work with students focuses on leadership development and activism that prioritizes building alliances not only across sexual orientation and gender identity lines, but also across race, ethnicity, and class lines, and our resources and trainings are designed to facilitate coalition building.
Our Vision For Liberation
GSA Network is working to strengthen the national movement-building capacity at the intersection of LGBTQ+ youth organizing and racial and gender justice in schools, and develop the next generation of LGBTQ+ leaders, particularly low-income youth and youth of color in California and nationally.
GSA Network includes GSA Network of California, which connects more than 1,100 clubs across the state, and the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites 40 statewide networks of GSA clubs. We also support student-led campaigns through GSAsUnite! (unite.gsanetwork.org), an online campaign and petition platform for trans and queer youth across the country.
Founded in San Francisco in 1998, GSA Network emerged as a youth-driven organization that connects LGBTQ+ youth and school-based GSA clubs through peer support, leadership development, and community organizing and advocacy. Our youth leadership development model supports youth in starting, strengthening and sustaining GSA clubs to create school communities where all students can be safe from discrimination, harassment, and violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity. GSA organizing rapidly expanded into a national youth organizing movement that now works at the intersection of racial and gender justice.
In 2005, we led the creation of the National Association of GSA Networks to support the development of the growing national GSA movement. Today, we work with a network of 40 statewide organizations representing more than 4,000 GSA clubs across the country.
In 2015, GSA Network transitioned its leadership to a Co-Executive Director model and made it an organizational priority to have LGBTQ+ people of color in the top echelons of management and governance to ensure that the organizational identity reflect the identity of the LGBTQ+ youth that participate in our programs.
In 2016, we formally changed our name to Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network (formerly Gay-Straight Alliance Network) after hearing from countless youth leaders who understand their genders and sexualities to be uniquely theirs and have moved beyond the labels of gay and straight, and the limits of a binary gender system. Trans and queer students continue to name their individual school-based clubs in a way that reflects the values and identity of its members.