Why Have a GSA

What Happens in GSA Meetings?

Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs) are official student clubs with LGBTQ and heterosexual student membership and typically two teachers who serve as faculty advisors. Students in a school with a GSA know that they have at least one or two adults they can talk to about LGBTQ issues. The purpose of GSAs is to provide a much-needed safe space in which LGBTQ students and allies can work together on making their schools more welcoming of sexual and gender minority students. Such groups also function as safe havens and supports for students with LGBTQ parents.

This definition above can help us understand the basics of what a GSA is, but what does it actually do? One of the most important things a GSA can do is create a safer space within the school environment. This is usually achieved by having regular meetings where members agree to create and maintain an environment that is safe and inclusive of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and their expression. 

As to what happens at these meetings, the reality is GSA meetings are often a lot like any other club. Students can meet, have conversation on issues like bullying, coming out, making school more inclusive, resources they may have found helpful, etc… Safer space groups can create awareness campaigns around days of significance, host events, and invite guest speakers. This stuff requires planning, and so a lot of GSA meetings might involve organizing activities, brainstorming new ideas, and generally working. Some GSAs design meetings to inspire conversation, or draw in more attendees, by showing movies or television shows and then following up with discussion. 

In short, a lot can happen at GSA meetings but almost all of it involves working on the challenges of making our schools and ourselves more inclusive and safer for all students, with a focus on LGBTQ and allied ones. 

If you’d like more specifics on ideas for club meetings, check out the Meeting & Events Ideas section in the navigation bar.