Why We Need Middle School GSAs!
GLAD hopes that someday soon every student has access to a GSA or GSTA in their middle school and high school.
When GSTAs are present, schools are more welcoming to LGBT students, meaning they hear fewer homophobic remarks (20%), feel safer (29%), and are less likely to fall victim to bullying (48%) according to the latest national climate survey of schools done by GLSEN.
Statistics aside, GSAs are a safe space for students to spend time and get support – they’re also fun! But don’t take our word for it!
Check out what the 6th, 7th, and 8th grade members of the Shady Hill Middle School GSA in Cambridge, MA say about why their club is so great! The Middle School GSA at Shady Hill was launched in the 2013-14 school year.
A GSA is the first step to having an accepting community not only for members of the LGBTQ community, but for all people.
“A GSA in middle school is very important. This generation is growing up in the midst of a cultural revolution, and it’s time to embrace the change. When we grow up and become full-fledged members of the society it will be important to understand what is going on with the LGBTQ community and how we can be helpful allies. At this age, we are just beginning to understand issues that have to do with sexuality, and we are still young enough to change ideas and habits that might be wrong or hurtful. A GSA is the first step to having an accepting community not only for members of the LGBTQ community, but for all people.”
“I think it’s important for all communities to have a GSA at all ages. In many communities, people who are LGBTQ are treated terribly, and often this happens at the middle school age. It is important for everyone to understand what being LGBTQ really is so that people in this community are treated better. People who are LGBTQ should always have a place to go for help. You are never too young to be yourself. In fact, the sooner you discover yourself, the better.”
You are never too young to be yourself. In fact, the sooner you discover yourself, the better.
“Middle school is not too young to have a GSA. When you are younger, you are less likely to be stuck on one idea. Having a GSA introduces kids to ideas of inclusion, acceptance and support at an early age. These values are essential to a more welcoming and supportive community.”
“It’s important for everyone to be educated and able to be themselves.”
Schools should support all kinds of kids with different sexual orientations, etc., and they can start by having a GSA.
“There are actually many people in the LGBTQ community, and they should not feel uncomfortable or unsafe in their own schools. Schools should support all kinds of kids with different sexual orientations, etc., and they can start by having a GSA.”
“GSAs help make schools a safe place for everyone by discussing what you can do better. It makes schools better places. It’s also fun for people to attend.”
A GSA is a place where people have the opportunity, in the LGBT community or not, to feel comfortable being themselves.
“A GSA is a place where people have the opportunity, in the LGBT community or not, to feel comfortable being themselves. A GSA gives them a place where they can believe in whatever they want to and share what is on their mind in a judgment-free-zone.”
We couldn’t agree more, and we commend the Shady Hill School for supporting their students like this – as well all the students who work on making their school one where all students can learn and have fun.
If you want to start a GSA or GSTA in your middle school and have any questions or are facing any problems, contact us at GLAD Answers
– we can help!