Blog of Rights

New Study Shows GSAs Boost Health, Education

By Anna Ziering, LGBT Project at 10:53am

Want to help youth sustain their mental health, stay in school, and go to college? According to a new study by the Family Acceptance Project, you can do all of those things by starting a Gay-Straight Alliance at your high school! And here at the ACLU, we’ve prepared a guide to help you do it.

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) are school clubs that work to create safe spaces for students to learn about and respond to homophobia, transphobia, and other types of oppression. They also promote camaraderie and understanding between lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and straight students. After surveying over 200 young adults, the Family Acceptance Project concluded that GSAs, and the solidarity they encourage, can provide mental health and educational benefits for the LGBT students involved. For a group with a high risk of bullying, depression, and suicide, those sorts of benefits are huge.

GSAs can help students outside the club, too. When members regard their GSA as effective in promoting a safer environment throughout the school, the benefits are significant — which means that when a GSA does well, everyone does well.

That’s why we’ve prepared this step-by-step video on starting a GSA. Watch it for helpful hints as you go through the process. And as always, feel free to reach out to us at the ACLU for assistance if you hit any roadblocks.

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