Starting a GSA

Students have a legal right to GSAs:
Gay Straight Alliances (GSAs)

are non-curricular student clubs – just like Chess Clubs or Key Clubs – that allow students with a shared interest to meet and participate in discussions and activities.
According to the federal Equal Access Act, public high schools that allow students
to form non-curricular clubs must also allow students to start GSAs.

Have students asked you to help them start a GSA 
at your school?
If you would like to hear from WNY educators who are already advising GSAs,
contact Marvin at GLYS ( – she can put you in touch with them.

Or, you can also check out these internet resources:
Teaching Tolerance
published this article In November, 2007:
‘THIS is Why We Need a GSA’

GLSEN – Gay Lesbian & Straight Educators Network
Has a page for students with more info to help you and your GSA.

Get the GLSEN GSA “Jump Start Guide” for starting a GSA!

Gay Straight Alliance Network
Also with GSA start-up information and much more.

NYCLU (New York Civil Liberties Union) – their WNY branch is located around the corner from GLYS and one of their staff, Emily Terrana, is the Tuesday Youth Mentor at GLYS.  Emily is the NYCLU local expert on the Dignity for All Students Act (DASA).  If you are trying to start a GSA and are not getting the support you need from administrators or your school district’s Board of Education, contact Emily.  You have the legal right to form a Gay Straight Alliance in your school!  Emily and the NYCLU can provide you with information – and if needed, other assistance – to educate educators on your rights.

Students:  Seeking a Safe Contact in your school?
Are you a young person who wants to talk with a teacher, counselor, social worker, or other staff member at your school about sexual orientation or gender identity but aren’t sure who is “safe”? If so, call or email GLYS. We will try to identify a safe contact for you.  We will not reveal your identity. Contact us at 716.855.0221 or