Every year, GSA Network hosts GAYLA, the GSA Advocacy & Youth Leadership Academy. This year, GSA Network is hosting three regional GAYLAs to train young people in the Central Valley, Northern California, and Southern California in advocacy organizing on local and statewide issues.

GAYLA participants will gain valuable leadership experience through a full day of training and advocacy activities to enhance their understanding on how legislation and policy affect our daily lives. 

The trainings will happen throughout the state during the month of May:

  • GSA Network Central Valley held its Advocacy Training in conjunction with the ENS Conference Saturday May 2, 2015.
  • GSA Network Northern CA will hold its Advocacy Training Day on Saturday May 9, 2015.
  • GSA Network in Southern California will hold its Advocacy Training Days on Saturday and Sunday: May 16 and 17, 2015.

Details of location and time will follow if you accepted to attend.


1. A young person between the ages 14-18

2. Committed to creating statewide and local change for LGBTQ youth and fighting homophobia and transphobia in schools and communities, specifically with a focus on advocacy, policy change, school climate and racial justice.

3. Attending and participation in GSA Network Programming (Activist Camp, Summits) but not required.

Apply here for the upcoming GAYLAs!


 To attend GAYLA, students must apply and be accepted.

Who should apply?

  • Youth (age 18 and under) who are interested in making their schools safer for LGBT students should apply.
  • You must attend a California middle school or high school.
  • We are especially looking for students who are high school juniors or younger, since GAYLA youth often work on a campaign that continues into the next school year.
  • Middle school students can also apply.
  • Youth of color, low-income youth, and transgender and gender non-conforming youth are strongly encouraged to apply.

GAYLA 2015 is organized and sponsored by:

GSA Network Logo

Transgender Law CenterACLU of California Logo



After being a leader at GAYLA, students are encouraged to continue advocating for LGBTQ youth in schools by:

  • Training members of your GSA in advocacy skills.
  • Serving as a media spokesperson in your region on GSA, safer schools, and LGBTQ youth issues.
  • Making follow-up calls or visits with your lawmakers.
  • Joining the GSA Network’s Statewide Advocacy Council.
  • Organizing & participating in a campaign during the following school year to advocate for full implementation of the gender identity non-discrimination law in California schools, which may include visits with lawmakers and education officials, rallies, letter-writing campaigns, and speak-outs in your area.

Past Events  

GAYLA 2012 was held on April 29-May 1 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2012.

GAYLA 2011 was held on April 1-4, 2011 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2011.

GAYLA 2010 was held on April 23-26, 2010 in Sacramento.

Read the blog from QYAD/GAYLA 2010.

See quotes and photos from previous years below. 

Sec A Image: 

"I think the most valuable part was learning how to tell my story in a way that people outside the LGBTQ community could understand."

"The most valuable part was meeting all of the other LGBTQ youth. They really inspired me and reminded me of why I'm a straight ally."

      --2009 GAYLA Participants


GAYLA Participants receive intensive training and skills for their meetings with legislators.

Student activists also gain media skills at GAYLA.  Here Kyle Bodolay discusses LGBT youth issues with the local NBC TV station in Sacramento.