Identity coordinates with Gender & Sexuality Alliances (formerly known as Gay-Straight Alliances) throughout the school year to help build inclusive school communities and provide helpful resources to students. We work with youth leaders and faculty advisers build leadership, organizing, and activism in middle and high schools throughout Alaska. We also work to promote community and collaboration between the different school organizations. If you know of a club that could use Identity’s assistance, please email the Youth Program Manager at YPManager@identityinc.org today!

Alaska's GSA Youth Organizing

With the start of the school year, we are excited to see GSAs starting back up! GSAs provide trans and queer youth and their allies a space to build community, explore identities and advocate for liberation. 

Wanna know if there is a GSA in a school or community near you? Email us at ypmanager@identityinc.org. There are GSAs in communities all around the state. 

Do you want to start a GSA in your school or community? Let’s do it! Tons of information is online at the national GSA Network website and it’s easy to register. As a part of the national registration drive, GSAs who sign up by Sept 30th get FREE stickers and postcards mailed to them from TRUTH! 

There is a PLETHORA of resources for GSAs to use in the GSA Network resource database. 

How To Start a GSA?

  • Follow the procedures for starting a new student club at your school. Look in your student handbook for instructions, which may include getting permission from an administrator, finding a faculty advisor, and/or writing a mission statement.
  • Find an advisor who you believe will be supportive and willing to sponsor your group. This could be a teacher, counselor, librarian, or other staff member. This person can help you work with the administration to establish your GSA.
  • Create a name for your GSA. Examples are Gay-Straight Alliance, Genders and Sexualities Alliance, Diversity Club, or Rainbow Club. 
  • Know the purpose of your group. GSAs can be support groups, social groups, and/or opportunities for educating others on LGBTQ topics.
  • Document all of the steps you take to create your GSA. Write down dates, times, and names of everyone involved in the process. If you feel like you are going through more steps than other clubs, contact Identity for help.
  • Register your group with the GSA Network on the Register Your GSApage.
  • Pick a meeting place that offers some privacy for club members. This could be a classroom, private room in the library, or another safe place at your school. Of course these meetings can occur virtually as well, over zoom or Discord.
  • Promote your GSA. Invite students to join the GSA and attend the first meeting through school announcements, flyers, social media, and word-of-mouth.
  • Have your first meeting! Include food and fun activities, and create a mission statement and action plan for the group moving forward.

10 Ways to Grow Your GSA

  • Advertise your group, meetings, and activities! This can be through posters, word-of mouth, social media and remind text messages.
  • Bring-A-Friend Day.  Every member brings one friend to a meeting.
  • Invite a guest speaker. Invite someone from a community group (Identity, Choosing Our Roots, Youth4Change/Story Work Alaska, PFLAG, ACLU, etc.), a local activist, or someone who does work in a related area.
  • School newspaper or announcements. Write an editorial or letter to the editor in your school newspaper, and/or include a notice in the paper or on the daily announcements.
  • Sign-in Sheets. Have sign-in sheets and contact people via email/text about upcoming meetings. (Be sure you ask if it is safe to contact members using this information.)
  • Club Share. Build coalitions with other student clubs at your school by attending their meetings and partnering on future projects/activities.
  • Movies! Screen a movie with an LGBTQ theme.
  • Tabling. Set up a table during lunch or at a club fair to share information about your group.
  • Provide snacks. Everyone loves free food! It is a great way to get more people to your meetings.
  • You’re invited! One of the best ways to get new people in the door is to invite them. Invite people in person, with special invites, via email/text, or through a social media event invite.

State-Wide GSA Advisor Connections

Advisors come together quarterly throughout the year to discuss the creation, maintenance and organizing of GSA spaces in community around Alaska. Any adult is invited regardless of whether they are already involved with a GSA, wanting to create one, or just looking to learn more about what GSAs are. If you would like to join for these meetings, email Identity’s Youth Program Manager at ypmanager@identityinc.org. They will send you the zoom link.