We’re proud to support a growing network of students, schools and community organizations that strive to create safer spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ students and staff.
The network provides consultation, training, event funding, school visits, networking and more to people involved in a GSA, or those who want to start one.
For more information, contact our GSA Network Coordinator, Melia, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
GSAs are school-based groups that are student-run with teacher support, and work to create safe, caring, supportive, and inclusive spaces for 2SLGBTQ+ students, staff and their allies. Different groups use different names, but some common names are Gender and Sexuality Alliance (GSA), Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) or Queer Straight Alliance (QSA).
They provide a safer space for students to meet, socialize and support one another as they discuss their feelings and experiences related to sexual orientation and gender identity.
GSAs can work in three key areas: support, education and advocacy. Alberta legislation dictates that students at any school in Alberta can start a GSA at their school. There are over 100 schools in the Calgary area with a GSA.
“Your support in getting our GSA going has been much appreciated. Knowing that there is someone I can go to if I have questions has been reassuring. Our GSA group greatly appreciated last year when you made the time to come in and discuss gender, sexuality and identity. It not only benefited the students but us as staff liaisons as well. We have been fortunate that our school division had a network connecting many of the GSAs within our division, but it was a wonderful addition to be invited to the GSA conference and allow our students to branch out.”
-Junior High Teacher
“Being part of the GSA Network was a quintessential part of my high school experience. When I was at meetings, not only did I feel comfortable being myself, but I also felt that my voice, thoughts and ideas were being listened to and taken seriously. I met many fantastic people from across Calgary and made many long lasting connections. As someone who was very involved with my high schools QSA, it was fantastic to see how other people across the province were running theirs and the different initiatives and projects they were leading. This lead to a spread of creativity that helped influence our schools QSA for the better.”
-Grade 12 Student
Every GSA can apply for a grant up to $100 twice per year to use towards any initiatives or projects in their schools or communities, or for building skills of students in the club. The GSA Network Coordinator will connect with the group to discuss their idea and provide additional opportunities for support. Submissions are reviewed on an ongoing basis. Check out our application form for more information.