Gay-Straight Alliances and LGBTQ Youth Reslience

A new study by the Family Acceptance Project supports what many of us probably already knew: That LGBTQ students who go to schools with gay-straight alliances (GSAs) — even if they never attend — are happier and more successful.  They seem to have lower rates of depression, suicide and substance use.  They also have more success in school and are more likely to go on to higher education.  This seems to fit with the notion that when LGBTQ youth receive even a small amount of regular support or acceptance, they are healthier and happier.  A previous study showed that youth whose parents made even small efforts to be more accepting were had better mental health than those who don’t.

For more information on GSA’s, see the GSA Network.  This fantastic non-profit has information about how to find a GSA near you, and how to start and build one in your school!

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One response to “Gay-Straight Alliances and LGBTQ Youth Reslience

  1. I run the Rainbow Alliance (Gay-Straight Alliance) at my high school, and while I must say that our attendance is rather low (we have about five dedicated members and two or three more part-time ones) we are decidedly one of our school’s most important and well-known clubs. This year we raised money for a local LGBTQ+ youth shelter with several projects- selling purple baked goods on Transgender Day of Remembrance, and “LGBTea” on Tuesdays; and created a workshop called Gender and Sexuality Made Easy which we gave to Planning 10 classes. We also organized a Pride Festival which will take place in May where we will be drawing a huge rainbow with chalk out front of the school, and playing music and having refreshments, as well as doing a LGBTQ+ short films festival (all proceeds again will go to the youth shelter.). So although we were a small gathering, I felt like our presence in my school (whose attitude towards members of the community is very ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’) was very symbolically important, and I’m having a great time being a part of it. Just a few ideas for anybody wanting to start their own GSA, and if you have any questions or want to know more about what we did, drop me an email at alexlamb14@gmail.com!

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