Straight But Not Narrow’s Avan Jogia, Josh Hutcherson,
and GSA Network Youth Star in Straight Ally PSA
Los Angeles— Today, Straight But Not Narrow (SBNN) and Gay-Straight Alliance Network released a video to promote Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) clubs in middle and high schools and emphasize the important role straight allies to lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth can play in creating safe schools for all. The nearly 5-minute “GSA PSA” features SBNN founder Avan Jogia and SBNN supporter Josh Hutcherson, star of the upcoming film Hunger Games, in conversation with Gay-Straight Alliance Network youth leaders.
“I’ve had the heartbreaking experience of seeing friends and family harassed simply because they were gay or people didn’t like the way they expressed their gender, and I refuse to let this be their fight alone,” said Leilani Harris, President of Santa Maria High School’s Gay-Straight Alliance club and speaker in the PSA. “Being part of my GSA taught me that I have enormous power as a straight ally to reduce bullying and make my school safer.”
A Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is a student-run club, typically in a high school or middle school, which provides a safe place for students to meet, support each other, talk about issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity and expression, and work to end homophobia and transphobia. GSA clubs can be vital lifelines for youth dealing with bullying, an important resource for schools to have at a time when nearly nine out of ten LGBT students report being harassed in school.
"I think the most important thing about having Straight allies is just the knowledge that there are people who are there for you. Straight allies are people who accept you for who you are, and who are on your side and will defend you,” said Avan Jogia, Straight But Not Narrow founder.
“It’s incredibly powerful for students to see young celebrities speak out as straight allies,” said Carolyn Laub, Executive Director of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. “We’re excited that Avan Jogia and Josh Hutcherson want to send a message of not only acceptance for LGBT youth, but also empowerment for youth to take action in their schools. Straight But Not Narrow really embodies the 'alliance' in our name and our mission, and we couldn’t be prouder of this partnership."
The video is available for viewing at http://youtu.be/aACHImFgL-c.
Gay-Straight Alliance Network (GSA Network) is a national youth leadership organization that empowers youth activists to fight homophobia and transphobia in schools by training student leaders and supporting student-led Gay-Straight Alliance clubs throughout the country. In California alone, GSA Network has brought GSA clubs to 56% of public high schools, impacting more than 1.1 million students at 870 schools. GSA Network's youth advocates have played a key role in changing laws and policies that impact youth at the local and state level. GSA Network operates the National Association of GSA Networks, which unites 35 statewide networks of GSA clubs throughout the country. GSA Network is also the founder of the Make It Better Project, which aims to stop bullying and prevent suicide. www.gsanetwork.org
Straight But Not Narrow: Founded just one year ago, Straight But Not Narrow has quickly become a leading ally organization. With the help of celebrities and other young influencers, SBNN is a 501c3 non-profit charity primarily focused on straight youth & young adults, and strives to positively influence the perception of, and behavior toward, their LGBT peers. www.wearesbnn.com