Gay Straight Alliance

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are student-led clubs that provide a safe and affirming environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning students and their heterosexual allies. They are like any other school club: they hold meetings, have faculty sponsors, engage in fundraising activities, plan events and are open to all students on campus.

Quick Facts*

  • The presence of GSAs may help to make schools safer for LGBT students by sending a message that biased language and harassment will not be tolerated.

  • Having a GSA may also make schools more accessible to LGBT students by contributing to a more positive school environment.

  • GSAs may help LGBT students to identify supportive school staff, which has been shown to have a positive impact on their academic achievements and experiences in school.

  • Most students lack access to GSAs or other student clubs that provide support and address issues specific to LGBT students and their allies.

Research Shows*

  • Students in schools with GSAs are less likely to hear homophobic remarks such as “faggot” or “dyke” in school on a daily basis than students without a GSA (57% compared to 75%).

  • LGBT students in schools with GSAs are less likely to miss school because they feel unsafe compared to other students: a quarter (26%) of students in schools with GSAs missed school in the past month because they felt unsafe compared to a third (32%) of students at schools without GSAs.

  • Students in schools with a GSA are more likely to report that school faculty, staff and administrators are supportive of lesbian, gay and bisexual students (52% compared to 32%).

*Findings reprinted with permission from GLSEN


Interested in Starting A Gay Straight Alliance At Your School?