Get the Facts about GSAs
Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are clubs made up of students – gay and straight – who think that anti-LGBT bullying, harassment, and discrimination is wrong. Members work together to make sure their school is a safe, supportive environment for ALL students.
The GSA Fact Sheet
- Found in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and U.S. military bases, GSAs have become one of the fastest-growing student clubs in the country.
- Like the name suggests, GSAs are made up of straight and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) students.
- GSAs are like any other club: they have advisors, hold regular meetings, host events, and are open to anyone on campus committed to their mission.
- GSAs can register with GLSEN to get resources, and a place to network.
- GLSEN defines a GSA as any club that works to make their school safer while specifically addressing anti-LGBT behavior. The majority of clubs registered with GLSEN refer to themselves as Gay-Straight Alliances, though some go by other names.
- Students are legally allowed to form GSAs in schools under the 1984 Federal Equal Access Act, which was initially created to protect students’ rights to form religious clubs. Judicial precedent has established that under the Equal Access Act, if a school allows one non-curricular club, it must allow all others, including GSAs. The US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, even put out a Dear Colleague letter explaining the law!
- GSAs improve school climate for LGBT students. When a GSA is present, LGBT students hear homophobic remarks less often, experience less harassment and assault, feel safer at school, skip school less often and have a greater sense of belonging.