On October 19, GSA Network will go purple for Spirit Day! Spirit Day is an annual day in October when millions of Americans wear purple to speak out against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth.
Started by high school student Brittany McMillan, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) now coordinates Spirit Day every year. This year, GSA Network partnered with GLAAD to create a Spirit Day tool kit specifically for GSAs.
The California State Assembly made history last week by passing a landmark bill that will ban psychological abuse inflicted on LGBT young people by deceitful mental health professionals who falsely claim to be able change their sexual orientation or gender expression.
This morning, President Obama announced a new policy on immigration: he is halting the deportation of many undocumented immigrant students. GSA Network welcomes and applauds this decision, which will allow as many as 1 million students to receive work authorization and stay in the country to study.
This policy will provide relief to many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth who are eligible for the DREAM Act, along with many other immigrant student leaders who have built their lives in the United States.
Youth reading this are probably all too familiar with the findings in today's report from the Human Rights Campaign on issues faced by LGBT youth. But that doesn't mean you should ignore it -- research like this can be a valuable tool for creating change.
For example, the next time someone tries to tell you that bullying is a "rite of passage" that affects all young people the same way, or that queer youth don't face unique challenges? Whip out this report.
Last month, over 50 young people traveled to Sacramento to advocate for legislation that would make California schools safer for all students -- rather than simply push students who don't feel safe out of school.
Now, those critical bills are up for a vote -- and they need YOUR help. Call your state Assemblymember or Senator this week and ask them to support the bills listed below.