Gay Straight Alliances are an increasingly popular way of bringing people together in order to reduce homophobia and homophobic bullying.
GSA’s have become popular and are groupings of individuals who get together to create a safe space where gay people can meet and talk with straight peers without fear of harassment and discrimination. However Noah Davis-Power points out that such alliances need resources, funding and commitment – it is not enough to just set them up and tick the box.
GSA’s exist to assure that each member of every community at work or school is valued and respected regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.
Most of them have been formed in high schools and colleges but there are also some gay straight alliances in the adult and internet worlds like Twitter and Facebook.
If you think you could benefit from having a gay straight alliance, here are steps to forming a Gay Straight Alliance:
1. Follow the guidelines at your school or office. Establish the GSN the same way as any other club or society. Check the regulations or company policies on establishing and running clubs or support groups.
2. Find a supportive teacher or staff member or manager. Identify an ally or champion and get them on your side to help start your GSN.
3. Inform the school’s or employers’ administration or personnel section. They often work as liasons to other school members or colleagues.
4. Know the law.
5. Carry out a climate survey. This will allow you to better understand the prevailing culture and position of your colleagues on such issues as anti-LGBTI+ bullying and harassment and to make your case for continuing with the GSA.