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How To Start a Gay / Straight Alliance

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How To Start a Gay / Straight Alliance

GSA

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Gay / Straight Alliances began to emerge in the 1990s as a way for gay and straight students to find like minded peers and create supportive communities. Today the number of GSAs continues to grow, and starting one at your school might not be as difficult as you think!
Difficulty: Average
Time Required: A Few Weeks to a Month

Here's How:

  1. Find out how to start a club at your school. Ask the administration or another student who has recently started a club about your school's policies and procedures. Make sure you follow them and keep all the necessary people in the loop about what your plans are.

  2. Ask a teacher or staff member to be your faculty adviser. Ideally this would be someone who you know is open to discussing sexual orientation. However, don't be discouraged if the first person you approach isn't able to be your adviser. Though it is tempting to ask a teacher you know personally, the right adviser may not be someone you have already had a lot of interactions with.

  3. Decide on a time and place for your first meeting and publicize your GSA. Teachers, guidance counselors, student body leaders and the school newspaper are all good places to get the word out about your new GSA.

  4. Make an outline of what you want to do at the first meeting. Think of something that will make the meeting fun like a a game or icebreaker to get members excited about meeting.

  5. Have your meeting! At the first meeting it can be helpful to think about future meetings, what people want to gain from the group, and how you will deal with any unforeseen huddles. Don't be discouraged if not a lot of people show up for the first meeting.

Tips:

  1. If you have a friend who is also interested in starting a GSA, work together. Divvying up responsibility and leaning on each other for support can be really helpful.

  2. Know what your talking about and do your homework! You might be met with resistance, so know what to say if someone tries to block your efforts. Common administrative concerns are that GSA's try to "recruit" or that they are sex or dating clubs. The more information you can provide, the less weight these accusations will hold.

  3. If you are told that you are not allowed to form a GSA you can explain that GSA clubs are protected under the Federal Equal Access Act.

  4. If possible, get your parents on board. A call from a supportive parent to an administration can make a big difference in a difficult situation.

What You Need

  • Information on forming a club at your school.
  • A faculty adviser.
  • A place to meet.
  1. About.com
  2. People & Relationships
  3. GLBT Teens
  4. Combating Homophobia
  5. Tips for Fighting Homophobia
  6. Start a Gay / Straight Alliance - What Teens Need to Know About Starting a GSA

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