Advocacy in the Community

When students advocate within the community, they improve the community as they empower themselves. They acquire an understanding of the issues facing the LGBTQ+ community overall while learning to navigate the sociopolitical landscape, which leads to greater agency and self-sufficiency (Chong et al., 2019).

Be active with your school district’s school board. Know the agendas and policies, and suggest initiatives to improve school climates. Team with other GSAs in the district, and elicit community support at school board meetings (GLSEN Jump-Start Guide, Part 1, n.d.)

Ideas for Advocacy in the Community

Speak to public officials about LGBTQ+ issues to advocate for change (Mayo, 2013)

Share information with the school faculty, administration, and the student body on current policy initiatives, legislation, and court cases concerning LGBTQ+ issues (Porta et al., 2017)

Participate in community panel discussions on LGBTQ+ issues (Mayo, 2013)

Work to educate current and future educators on LGBTQ+ issues in schools, through local colleges and educator training through the district (Mayo, 2013)

Lobby at the State Capitol (for instance, during Lobby Day); lobby on behalf of (or against) LGBTQ+-related legislation as the legislation is being discussed by legislators (Mayo, 2013)


Chong, E. S. K., Yoshikawa, H., Poteat, P., & Calzo, J. P. (2019). Fostering youth self-efficacy to address transgender and racial diversity issues: The role of gay-straight alliances. School Psychology, 34(1):54-63. doi:10.1037/spq0000258

Mayo, J. B. (2013). Critical pedagogy enacted in the gay-straight alliance: New possibilities for a third space in teacher development. Educational Researcher, 42(5):266-275.

Porta, C. M., Singer, E., Mehus, C. J., Gower, A. L., Saewyc, E., Fredkove, W., & Eisenberg, M. E. (2017). LGBTQ youth’s views on gay-straight alliances: Building community, providing gateways, and representing safety and support. Journal of School Health, 87(7):489-497. doi:10.1111/josh.12517

The GLSEN jump-start guide, part 1: Building and activating your GSA or similar student club. (n.d.). GLSEN.

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