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History Behind the QSA

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History Behind the QSA

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Some parentDSCN2481s share a common misconception that the Gay Straight Alliance (also known as the Queer Straight Alliance) is used as a ‘dating network’ at school. The truth is the Gay Straight Alliance provides a safe and welcoming environment for students of various sexual orientations around the school. Members of the GSA have been treated and seen differently around school and society, when in reality, they are just like everyone else. Efforts have been made to change the way homosexuals and transgender are viewed in society. For instance, the Gay Straight Alliance. But how did it all form? How did society change its perspective on homosexuals and transgender?

Here is how it all began. Homosexuals have experienced a long history of opposition through society. They just don’t feel like they’re being accepted. The Gay Straight Alliance was first known as the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender Alliance. It all started in 1984 at Fairfax High School in Los Angeles, where a movement called Project 10 recognized efforts to provide organized education and support for gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender in American public schools. The name Project 10 came from the fact that approximately 10 percent of the population was homosexual. Though Project 10 was mainly a target toward gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender students, the earliest members were straight. Project 10 has leveraged the importance of other support groups for GLBTQ.

Two private schools in Massachusetts later renamed their GLBTQ group Gay Straight Alliance in 1989. The adviser for the Philips Academy group did workshops about gay-straights around Massachusetts. Massachusetts eventually became the model for their Safe Schools Program. Massachusetts’s Safe Schools Program in 1993 was one of the three main events that motivated developments of the Gay Straight Alliance movement. The other two events were the murder of Matthew Shepard, a gay student at the University of Wyoming, and the federal court ruling in Utah. The federal court ruling in 1999 identified that denying school-based Gay-Straight Alliances was violating the Federal equal access act.

Out of all the groups that advocate for the Gay-Straight Alliance, the Gay Lesbian Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is the most significant. Since its establishment in 1995, it has provided education, public policies, student organizations and development resources to provide schools with assistance related to sexual orientations and gender identities. Project 10 gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups are increasing, yet are still limited. The many different groups of support surrounding homosexuals and transgender help them build confidence to overcome their differences. Acceptance of homosexual and transgender are becoming more prominent in today’s society, due to these support groups.

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