During the month of June, GSA activists took to the streets of California’s cities, towns and communities to celebrate 40+ years of the LGBT civil rights movement. Forty-one years ago, on June 28, 1969, queer youth, drag queens, and transgender folks fought back against a police raid on the Stonewall Inn, a queer bar in New York City. For three days afterwards, the LGBT community of New York City rioted against the long-standing homophobia and transphobia they faced everyday.
On June 8th, four GSA Network youth leaders won a collective eight scholarships at the 4th Annual Los Angeles LGBTA Youth Awards held at the Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Center's Renberg Theater.
This past weekend GSAs throughout California and the nation marked the first annual Harvey Milk Day on May 22nd. After lobbying the California Legislature to adopt Harvey Milk Day for two years, students celebrated their hard won victory by organizing events in their schools and communities. Students held educational rallies, movie screenings, gave out cookies with milk, talked to their peers, served Harvey Milkshakes, and even had birthday cakes for Harvey!
On Wednesday, the Board of Trustees for the Kern High School District in Bakersfield, California, voted 3 -1 to "... not conduct exercises commemorating Harvey Milk Day... nor encourage or require its schools or their staffs to conduct such exercises." The proposal was introduced by Board Vice President Ken Mettler (who is running for the California Assembly) and is widely seen as a cynical move to toughen up his image and appeal to conservative voters in Kern County.
It’s that time of the year again!
What time you ask?
Time to plan and hold the annual Day of Silence at your school!
Every year in the spring, GSAs across the country take a vow of silence to recognize and protest the silence that LGBT people face each day. GSAs in California and throughout the United States have organized around GLSEN'S Day of Silence as a way of raising awareness and fighting homophobia and transphobia in their schools.
GSA Network organizes regional GSA Leadership Summits throughout California in order to provide GSA activists with the skills and resources necessary to transforming their schools into safe and inclusive learning environments, as well as to connect youth to one another. Current high school students trained by GSA Network staff to be peer educators, lead all workshops in our Leadership Summits.