Dear 2016 Black Future Legends, In schools and communities across the US, the time for action amongst our youngest leaders is now. GSA Network’s trans, queer, and gender expansive leaders are reclaiming black history month…
Please join us as we celebrate with students and organizations from all across the country! Let’s recognize the incredible work GSAs and LGBT student groups are doing to make schools and campuses safe for all!
#GSADay4RJ Tweetchat, 3pm PST/4pm MT/6pm EST/5pm CST
Tuesday, Feb. 16
Hosted by GSA Network
LGBTQ+ youth discuss how racial justice issues impact their lives!
Join high school GSA leader and intern Danielle and make your own #BlackFutureLegends Month video for GSA Day!
To film your video, think about one or all of these questions:
Then upload your video by February 20th (GSA Day for Racial Justice) with the hashtags #BlackFutureLegends and #GSAs4Justice!
Dear 2016 Black Future Legends,
In schools and communities across the US, the time for action amongst our youngest leaders is now. GSA Network’s trans, queer, and gender expansive leaders are reclaiming black history month as their time to rise as Black Future Legends. GSA Network is a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization whose mission is to empower and train queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.
On Friday, February 19th 2016, GSA Network will have the annual GSA Day 4 Racial Justice; an annual event we renamed last year to celebrate the movement building work happening in GSA’s and LGBTQ groups across the country. GSA Network’s youth leadership are not fighting single issue campaigns; nor are they comfortable with creating safe spaces where only white or affluent youth can be themselves. GSA Network’s youth are from the deep South in Mississippi, Arkansas and Georgia; in native communities in New Mexico; in urban cities like Long Beach, Philadelphia and New York; and in places as diverse as Hawaii.
Our communities are not just fighting for youth to come out in their own homes; they are also changing the narratives on issues such as bullying, such as zero tolerance anti-bullying policies and are connecting to broader struggles in their activism to challenge homophobia and transphobia.
These youth are not content with change that starts only with voting. Our youth leaders are fighting to free black lives everywhere and acknowledge the multiple expressions of their identity as sources of mass movement for the next generation of movement leaders.
Now more than ever our national leadership is comprised of youth ages 12-24 who are trained schools and community organizers who lead actions and workshops that fight to end state violence against black lives, who educate each other on sexual health and wellness, and who understand that gender is a social construct that limits trans people, gender expansive people, and cisgendered people in all races and ethnicities. Our #BlackFutureLegends are holding our communities together in braver and brave spaces that build organizing from a new form of political strategy that doesn’t leave anyone out. LGBTQ youth of the newest and newer emerging generations fight day in and day out to stop the deportations of our families, to end the ongoing criminalization of black and brown people including those of our kin who are Muslim; that fight in solidarity with a global youth movement that wants people to be free in the US, in Mexico, and in Palestine.
They want a world free of homophobia and anti-semitism, free of transphobia as well as islamophobia. These black future legends and their networks of allies tirelessly educate youth and members of the community to understand the moral hypocrisy that supports political leadership that does not know that black lives matter….everywhere.
We at GSA Network, staff and youth alike, know that political analysis that is morally bankrupt anywhere causes the senseless genocide of our world everywhere. The Trans, Queer, and Gender Expansive youth in this current movement are both pro black and pro Palestine, are people from diverse urban, suburban, and rural communities that fight against the school to prison pipeline and, in many cases, are restorative justice practitioners that are liberating their schools and communities daily.
In spite of any public policies that support drone attacks in the Middle East, the ongoing genocide of black people by state violence, and the senseless murder of transwomen of color we draw a line in the sand and work tirelessly to protect those most marginalized by poverty, racism and capitalist patriarchy. We are a movement that is made up of youth leaders, organizers, teachers, and diverse families that are in support of their Trans/Queer People of Color families and we believe that the civil rights movement starts and ends with us.
In Peace and Solidarity,
GSA Network Director of National programs
We received this about the York High School GSA:
They have put in hard work with every event this year and I believe that our high school is changing. They have grown from a GSA with 3 members to a GSA with over 50 members. They are truly making a difference! I believe they have worked so hard and are reaching their goal! They did a Secret Santa Fundraiser, Ally Week and No-Name Calling Week! They have hosted Tie-Dye Parties to get students involved. They hold meetings twice a month in our school library! I love my school GSA. They are a GREAT GSA:)
Great work York High School GSA! Hopefully the rest of your year is just as awesome!
Find out how to get your Great GSA featured by going to http://gsaday.org/greatgsas/
Jeremy sent this in about Park City High School’s GSA:
I met this awesome crew of kids from Park City High School during Sundance 2014. Super energetic and friendly, they were outside their school every day promoting equal rights and engaging with the audiences with snacks, drinks, and hand warmers. I think they deserve recognition!
Great job! Way to get out and work for equality!
Find out how to get your Great GSA featured by going to http://gsaday.org/greatgsas/
“Disney Channel’s “Good Luck Charlie” broke new ground on Sunday with the inclusion of a lesbian couple, the cable network’s first openly gay characters in a series.
In the episode “Down a Tree,” Amy and Bob Duncan set up a play date for their daughter Charlie and one of her new friends, Taylor — who just happens to have two moms.”
“An independent think tank that studies the progress of the movement on equal rights for LGBT people released its latest report Tuesday, and the assessment is surprisingly “mixed.”” Some other facts included in the report where:
The presence of gay-straight alliance (GSA) groups in schools reduces the risk of suicide among both LGBTQ and straight teens, according to a study published in the International Journal of Child, Youth and Family Studies and funded by the Canadian Institute of Health Research.
Using data from the 2008 British Columbia Adolescent Health Survey for grades 8-12, the study found that in schools where gay-straight alliance groups have been in existence for three or more years:
Gay-straight alliance groups stem back to the late 1980′s, when discussions of sexuality were much less open than they are today. GSA’s have proliferated in universities and secondary schools since then, with the goal of creating safe spaces on campus for all students–regardless of sexual orientation.
“We know that LGBTQ students are at higher risk for suicide, in part because they are more often targeted for bullying and discrimination,” said Elizabeth Saewyc, lead author of the study, to the University of British Columbia press. “But heterosexual students can also be the target of homophobic bullying. When poliices and supportive programs like the GSAs are in place long enough to change the environment of the school, it’s better for students’ mental health, no matter what their orientation.”
In addition to documenting the benefits of GSA presence on schools, the study also found that on campuses where anti-homophobic policies have been in place for 3+ years:
The findings may lend more credence to LGBTQ activists in the United States who are struggling with conservatives to control the conversation about sexuality in public schools.
In 2011, a bill outlawing the discussion of any sexuality except the hetero variety passed the state Senate in Tennessee, and was debated for two years before dying in the House. The most onerous feature of the bill’s final incarnation was a provision that would have compelled teachers to notify parents of students they suspected were gay.
Legislators in Missouri also passed an ill-fated “Don’t Say Gay” bill in 2012 similar to the one killed in Tennessee, and though it went nowhere, one of its main sponsors was later tapped to head the Missouri House Education Committee in 2013.