Guide: How to Start a GSA
Gender & Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) play a pivotal role in fostering a nurturing environment for queer youth.
By creating a supportive and affirming space, GSAs provide a haven where LGBTQ+ students can truly be themselves, free from judgment and prejudice. These clubs not only offer a sense of belonging but also serve as a vital peer-to-peer support system. GSAs actively contribute to enhancing the LGBTQ+ student experience within educational institutions. They provide a platform for young individuals to learn essential skills in self-advocacy and advocacy for others, empowering them to stand up for their rights and challenge discrimination. GSAs also act as safe havens, allowing students to express their authentic selves openly, fostering self-confidence and self-esteem.
Follow the steps to start your GSA, or check out this guide and other tips and resources from the national GSA Network to support your GSA.
10 Steps to Starting a GSA
- Do your homework
- Be prepared
- Identify a faculty advisor or group of advisors
- Involve your administrator
- Identify other allies
- Find a meeting place
- Prepare for your first meeting
- Hold your first meeting
- Plan for the future
Do Your Homework:
Research the purpose and benefits of a Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA) to understand its importance and goals.
Gather information, resources, and materials to support your GSA's objectives and create a well-structured plan.
Identify a Faculty Advisor or Group of Advisors:
Approach supportive teachers or staff members who can guide and provide the necessary supervision for your GSA activities.
Involve Your Administrator:
Present your GSA idea to the school administration for approval and discuss how it can contribute positively to the school environment.
Identify Other Allies:
Reach out to students who share your vision and want to contribute to the GSA's mission of promoting inclusivity and acceptance.
Find a Meeting Place:
Secure a suitable and accessible location for GSA meetings to create a safe space for open discussions and activities.
Promote your GSA through posters, social media, and announcements to inform the school community about your activities and attract potential members.
Prepare for Your First Meeting:
Create an agenda for the inaugural meeting that outlines the GSA's purpose, goals, and expectations, setting a strong foundation for future engagement.
Hold Your First Meeting:
Conduct the opening meeting, encouraging introductions, discussing the GSA's mission, and fostering an inclusive atmosphere.
Plan for the Future:
Brainstorm and outline future activities, events, and initiatives that align with the GSA's objectives, promoting a more accepting and supportive school environment.
In a world where acceptance and understanding are paramount, GSAs serve as beacons of progress. By promoting tolerance, education, and unity, these clubs not only enrich the lives of LGBTQ+ students but also cultivate a more inclusive school environment for all.
Contact One Colorado for more information on how to start a GSA at your school. Additionally, One Colorado offers LGBTQ+ Competency Training for teachers and staff in need of professional development.