LGBTQIA+ youth are extremely vulnerable to bullying, feelings of isolation, and discrimination around them. Most LGBTQIA+ students struggle with their own identity, and the pressure from school, home, and society to conform to a norm is an added weight to young people trying to figure out who they are if they haven’t already. Students should be able to get the support they need, and that goes for LGBTQIA+ students all the more. Usually, students can get support from school counseling, but LGBTQIA+ students may feel uncomfortable disclosing their identity in such a space. However, a safe space like a GSA (Gay-Straight Alliance, or Gender and Sexuality Alliance) can have a significant impact on LGBTQIA+ students’ wellbeing.
TELL has put together a toolkit for students in international schools who wish to establish a GSA. A GSA is a student-led organization, a space where LGBTQIA+ students can feel safe and affirmed. Research has shown that schools that have a GSA led to LGBTQIA+ students feeling more like they belong, and more self-confident. This toolkit will explain to you in more detail what a GSA is and why it is important, as well as how to establish it according to your school’s club-making rules. Finally, the toolkit contains some orientation about what to do after the GSA is established, potential club activities, and a list of resources for LGBTQIA+ people in Japan and abroad.
We have also created a poster series highlighting LGBTQIA+ individuals. Please feel free to use these posters, or create your own using our template.
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