GSA Models

The three typical functions of a GSA club are to: support students, build community, and create change. We break this down into three types of GSA clubs: Support, Social, and Activist. Most GSAs are a combination of all three.


GSAs are social groups. They provide a sense of community & a space for LGBTQ & their ally peers to build a social network where their identity is respected. GSAs often host cook-outs, movie nights, field trips to a local LGBT prom or a pride parade, and attend conferences. GSAs build community at your school & lessen the isolation that LGBTQ students might otherwise experience.


GSAs can be a support group to provide safety and confidentiality to students who are struggling with their identities or those who are experiencing harassment at school because of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. This type of GSA often provides one of the few safe spaces for students to express themselves.


An Activist GSA is a club that focuses mostly on educating a students, teachers, parents and community members to create a safer and more accepting school for LGBTQ students by changing school rules & policies, training staff & students, and helping to stop harassment and discrimination

TIP: Some groups decide they want to be a social or activist GSA but also need a space just for LGBTQ folks to still talk about their issues and get support. You can start another LGBTQ+ only group that meets at another time, or alternate your meetings to meet both purposes.

Remember, if your GSA is at a public school, your GSA has Legal Rights under the Federal Equal Access Act. More legal resources in our Resources Library available.


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