Owen Aptekar-Cassels is a transgender high school senior from Davis, CA, who has been part of GSA clubs in school for 6 years now. He spends his free time helping people fix their bikes, doing activism, reading, and wishing he had more time for art.
One thing is clear from last night: young people have found their voice and they are using it to change the country. Now that Prop 30 has passed, saving California schools from devastating budget cuts, we want to celebrate the young people who have, day by day, been working for change!
It seems everyone in the California education world has taken a position on three propositions that will impact education funding: Proposition 30, Proposition 32, and Proposition 38. Next Tuesday, voters -- who, for the most part, have been out of school for some time -- will decide the fate of these propositions.
GSA Network is part of a coalition of organizations participating in the Breakthrough Conversations Project, which encourages LGBT people and allies to have one-on-one conversations with their friends and family about how issues like marriage, bullying, and the FAIR Education Act matter to them personally.
For LGBT History Month, I wanted to call attention to some of the LGBT, gender barrier-breaking heroes who mean the most to me: nine kick-ass athletes. And since it's National Coming Out Day, it's a good day to highlight a new campaign, The Last Closet, which seeks to end homophobia in men's sports. On their website, you can join the campaign asking league commissioners to take action on homophobia in their leagues.
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.
“Our GSA Statewide Advocacy council trip was amazing :). We split up into legislative and administrative advocacy committees and spoke to different leaders and partner groups. We were all really nervous, but in the end it went really great. The part that touched me the most is when one of the ladies from the School Board Association said, ‘Your group coming here and talking to us really made a difference.’"
- Christian Capulin, Modesto, Johansen High School
Heading into this weekend’s fall Statewide Advocacy Council retreat, we’ve got some exciting updates from Sacramento. One of the bills we fought for at Queer Youth Advocacy Day, Assemblymember Ammiano’s AB 1729, has been signed into law by Governor Brown!