Gay–straight alliances (GSA) are school/student-led or community based organizations that are intended to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBT+) youth and their straight allies. Below are a few recommendations and best practices on starting and organizing a GSA at your school.
Your GSA Starter Kit
Would you like to start a Gay-Straight Alliance at your school, but you’re not sure where to begin? Here are ten great steps on how to start a GSA in your school.
1. Do Your Research
- Learn more about your school’s rules for setting up a club
2. Know Your Reasons
- First ask yourself, “why do I want to start this club?”
- Be able to explain the need for such a club
3. Find an Advisor
- Not all clubs require advisors but the more support, the better
- Ask a favorite teacher, counselor or supportive administrator
4. Identify Your Allies
- Who will be your main supporters?
- Will those supporters help if you encounter resistance?
5. Make the Ask
- Organize a time to present the club idea
- Invite key decision makers at your school and ask away
6. Create an Agenda
- Once you have the club going, plan your first meeting
- Be prepared and organized with an agenda
- Make sure people know about the club with eye catching flyers
- Use social media, speak at classes, get an email list going
8. Hold Your Meeting
- Icebreaker activities are good
- Establish ground rules for the club
9. Create a Calendar
- Stay organized by setting dates for future meetings and making note of important events
- Keep the calendar in a place where all members can access it
- What went well after your first meeting? What didn’t go so well?
About gsafe: Gay Straight Alliance for Safe Schools (or “GSAFE”) is an organization based in Madison, Wisconsin that supports student and school efforts to create safe learning environments for LGBT and all students. For more information, give them a call at 608.661.4141.
Other supportive resources: