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Peer Support or Affinity Clubs and Organizations

Information on peer support or affinity clubs and organizations for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ+) students, their educators and their families.

For Students

Genders & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) Network External link opens in new window or tab.
Founded in San Francisco in 1998, GSA Network emerged as a youth-driven organization that connects lesbian gay, bisexual, transexual, queer/questioning (LGBTQ+) youth and school-based GSA clubs through peer support, leadership development, and community organizing and advocacy. Our youth leadership development model supports youth in starting, strengthening and sustaining GSA clubs to create school communities where all students can be safe from discrimination, harassment, and violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Trevor Project External link opens in new window or tab.
The Trevor Project is the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning youth. Support is available 24/7, 365 days a year.

For Educators

Gay Lesbian Straight Educator Network (GLSEN) External link opens in new window or tab.
GLSEN was founded by a group of teachers in 1990, who knew that educators play key roles in creating affirming learning environments for LGBTQ youth. But as well as activating supportive educators, they believe in centering and uplifting student-led movements, which have powered initiatives like the Day of Silence, Ally Week, and more.

Kinder Future External link opens in new window or tab.
Kinder Future provides comprehensive LGBTQ training for educators and school leadership, gender identity support planning (IDSP), consultation and crisis support, anti-bullying and restorative interventions. The focus of their work is to increase engagement, equity, educational outcomes and safety among LGBTQ youth and their families.

Los Angeles LGBT Center – Community Action Network (CAN) External link opens in new window or tab.
CAN works with GSA and LGBTQ clubs on school campuses supporting middle and high school students, helping students and advisors strengthen their school clubs by providing tools on sustainability and recruitment, meeting formats and agendas, and club connectivity, among other things.

Los Angeles LGBT Center - CAN Coalition External link opens in new window or tab.
Working together, members of CAN Coalition provide nurturing and safe spaces, foster personal development, and educate and reduce substance misuse among LGBTQ youth.

ONE Archives Foundation External link opens in new window or tab.
ONE Archives states that its professional development opportunities empower educators to diversify their curricula and create an affirming learning environment. The foundation’s goal is to ensure that LGBTQ history is visible and accessible to kindergarten through grade twelve (K –12) students and educators through free and low-cost resources.

Teaching LGBTQ History External link opens in new window or tab.
This website provides resources and lesson plans for teaching LGBTQ history and fulfilling the requirements of the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal Act (FAIR Act).

Why start or maintain at GSA at your school?

To help create safe and inclusive school climates for gay and transgender youth.

  • A research brief External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN reports that:
  • Students in schools with GSAs are less likely to hear homophobic remarks in school on a daily basis than students in schools without a GSA—57 percent compared to 75 percent.
  • Gay and transgender students who attend schools with a GSA are less likely than those at a school without a GSA to report feeling unsafe in school because of their sexual orientation (61 percent vs. 68 percent) or because of their gender identity (38 percent vs. 43 percent).
  • Fifty-three percent of secondary school teachers believe that having a GSA would help make schools safer for gay and transgender students.

To achieve higher academic achievement through school safety:

  • The California Safe Schools Coalition External link opens in new window or tab. (PDF) has produced a number of research briefs that look at the impact harassment and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity has on academic achievement and school safety in California schools.
  • Thirty-one percent of gay and transgender youth who felt safe at school received mostly A’s, compared to 18 percent who did not feel safe at school.
  • Thirty-five percent of gay and transgender youth who felt safe at school received A’s and B’s, compared to 26 percent who did not feel safe at school.
  • Eighty-three percent of gay and transgender students who strongly feel safe at school have plans to go to college, compared to 67 percent of those who do not feel safe at school.

For Parents

Our Family Coalition External link opens in new window or tab.
Our Family Coalition advances equity for the full and expanding spectrum of LGBTQ families and children through support, education, and advocacy.

Family Acceptance Project External link opens in new window or tab.
The Family Acceptance Project® is directed by Dr. Caitlin Ryan at the Marian Wright Edelman Institute at San Francisco State University, and was developed by Caitlin Ryan and Rafael Dìaz in 2002. It includes the first comprehensive study of LGBTQ youth and their families and the first evidence-informed family support model to help diverse families learn to support their LGBTQ children.

For Everyone

Gender Spectrum External link opens in new window or tab.
Gender Spectrum works to create gender sensitive and inclusive environments for all children and teens. Programs, trainings and annual conference for educators, youth and families.

American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) – LGBTQ Rights External link opens in new window or tab.
The ACLU works to ensure that LGBTQ+ people can live openly without discrimination and enjoy equal rights, personal autonomy, and freedom of expression and association.

California Teachers Association (CTA) Human Rights Department External link opens in new window or tab.
The CTA Human Rights Department unites all aspects of public education, and supports LGBTQ+ educators and students through specific LGBTQ+ trainings, conferences, and advisory committees. The work of the department uses transformative learning strategies with a focus on unconscious bias as a tool to look at both individual behavior and institutional practice around race and homo/transphobia. Ultimately, the intent is to create a more equitable union and public education system by helping to change behavior and practices that perpetuate inequality.

California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network External link opens in new window or tab.
The California LGBTQ Health and Human Services Network is a statewide coalition of nonprofit providers, community centers, and researchers working collectively to advocate for state level policies and resources that will advance LGBTQ health. They strive to provide coordinated leadership about LGBTQ health policy in a proactive, responsive manner that promotes health and wellness as part of the movement for LGBTQ equality.

National Organizations

Advocates for Youth External link opens in new window or tab.
Works with LGBTQ young people to help and support one another. We work with schools and youth serving professionals around the country to ensure LGBTQ youth are safe in schools, celebrated for who they are and provided accurate sex education lessons.

GLSEN External link opens in new window or tab.
Strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression. Variety of school-based resources.

National Center for Lesbian Rights External link opens in new window or tab.
NCLR offers legal information regarding sexual orientation and gender identity to its clients that include youth and adults as well as technical assistance to attorneys helping LGBTQ+ clients.

Transgender Law Center External link opens in new window or tab.
The Transgender Law Center works to change law, policy, and attitudes so that all people can live safely, authentically, and free from discrimination regardless of their gender identity or expression. The Center also provides information about resources available for youth, families and adults who are facing other forms of discrimination and civil rights issues.

ACLU External link opens in new window or tab.
The ACLU champions the rights of LGBTQ people to live their lives freely and with respect. The ACLU works to make public schools safe and bias-free for LGBTQ students, defending their speech in school, and working to help students start gay-straight alliance clubs.

Trevor Project External link opens in new window or tab.
National organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBTQ+, intersex, and asexual young people ages thirteen to twenty-four. Youth and families may call, text or chat anytime for confidential support. Trevor Lifeline: 1-866-488-7386, Text “Start” to 678-678.

PFLAG External link opens in new window or tab.
PFLAG has over 400 chapters across the country and California. Provides support services and education especially for parents and families of LGBTQ+ youth. Find a chapter near you.

Lambda Legal External link opens in new window or tab.
Lambda Legal is the oldest national organization pursuing high-impact litigation, public education and advocacy on behalf of equality and civil rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgender people and people with HIV.

National Education Association LGBTQ Caucus External link opens in new window or tab.
Works to provide educators, education support professionals, and students, with safe schools free of anti-LGBTQ+ bias and intolerance, and to provide sound education programs for all students.

National Gay and Lesbian Task Force External link opens in new window or tab.
The mission of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force is to build the grassroots power of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. They do this by training activists, equipping state and local organizations with the skills needed to organize broad-based campaigns to defeat anti-LGBT referenda and advance pro-LGBT legislation, and building the organizational capacity of our movement.

Questions:   Teacher and Leader Policy Office | 916-445-7331
School Health and Safety Office | 916-319-0314
Last Reviewed: Thursday, June 3, 2021