National Gay-Straight Alliance Day

Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) have been around for decades working to keep high school and college campuses safe and welcoming for students regardless of gender expression, gender identity, and sexual orientation. The persons who start these student run clubs and organizations are extremely brave. They put themselves out there when they confront the ignorance and bigotry that is rampant on high school and college campuses.

Therefore, we all should celebrate and honor those Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) that have pushed towards a more accepting and tolerant environments on high school and college campuses. Thus, the Iowa Pride Network created the Iowa Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day to celebrate and honor GSAs. This year they have worked to create the first National Gay-Straight Alliance Day. This day is again to celebrate and honor GSAs.

National Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) Day is coming up and many organizations and school clubs are going to participate in solidarity.  One of those organizations is Forward Equality. Forward Equality is a regional non-profit (501 (c) 4 pending) that works with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and allied (LGBTQA) youths/adults to promote civil and economic equality and respect. Forward Equality is hosting a GSA Day rallying in solidarity with National GSA Day. The rally will be in Omaha, Nebraska near the Memorial Park Pedestrian Bridge from 3:00pm to 5:00pm on January 25, 2012. Forward Equality is also asking the Mayor of Omaha to proclaim January 25, 2012 National GSA Day.

GSA Day in Omaha is particularly relevant because the city still does not protect persons based on actual or perceived gender expression, gender identity, or sexual orientation.   Forward Equality and local schools will join the following groups in supporting and celebrating the event: One Colorado, Iowa Pride Network, Washington State GSA Network, GLSEN, Georgia Equality, PFLAG, Campus Pride, GSA Network, Mathew Shepard Foundation, etc. “GSA Day is the perfect time to point out the importance of safe spaces for students. Safe social interaction is key to their educational experience, and their emotional health in and out of school,” said Jon von Kampen the President of UNO’s Queers and Allies.

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