Gay Straight Alliances
The Youth Project is a big supporter of Gay Straight Alliances. A Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) is a youth led school group that works to make schools safer for LGBT youth. GSAs are for students of all sexual orientations and gender identities and are a great way to meet friends, create a safe place within the school, and work to make schools safer. There are many schools in Nova Scotia that have GSAs. Here are some things we do to support GSAs:
We are always happy to come out to schools and meet with GSAs. We can chat about upcoming events, challenges, new ideas, issues that face LGBT youth, etc. It is great to stay connected.
Training and Workshops
Does your GSA want to do some education in your school or elsewhere? Does your GSA want to learn more about transgender youth? Does your GSA want to learn how to make a PSA or use theatre as a teaching tool? Does your GSA want to learn how to run effective meetings and organize successful events? The Youth Project frequently offers opportunities to GSAs to learn and experience new skills and ideas. We are available to come to you or we often host events open to all GSA members.
We are working on creating a GSA network. This network would allow GSAs to register their GSA on our online network. You can update your information, see what other GSAs exist and what they are up to, and connect with networks across Canada. You will be able to see what great opportunities are coming up that your GSA may want to take part it. Finally, you will be able to communicate with other GSAs in Nova Scotia.
The Youth Project has run several special projects with GSAs and will continue to pursue those opportunities. In the past we have created T-shirts, filmed a Public Service Announcement, which can be viewed on our YouTube site, did some cheerleading for the International Day Against Homophobia, and held a one day conference. We are always open to new ideas.
We have many resources available for GSAs. We have a GSA manual available that helps GSAs get started, provides some meeting and project ideas, and addresses some common challenges. We have plenty of other resources such as novels and DVDs available for GSAs to borrow.
If you are having trouble getting your GSA started or your GSA is having trouble getting things done or your school won’t let you have a GSA, we can help. We can work with your GSA and/or school to try and overcome some of these challenges. Our staff has the expertise and knowledge to help GSAs who are struggling. We also may be able to get the right people involved to help ensure your GSA is allowed to run. There is often plenty of support out there and we can help you find it.
Provincial GSA Conference
For the last three years the Youth Project has hosted a day long conference for Gay Straight Alliances across Nova Scotia. Our first GSA conference had 75 students and staff in attendance, this year we expect closer 250! We have held workshops on using theatre to fight homophobia, making your GSA more transgender inclusive, bullying and cyberbullying, using art to send a message, event planning, how to start a GSA, how to maintain your GSA, and video production.
This year plans are already underway for the next provincial GSA Conference. We are planning for November 30th so mark your calendars. This year, we will be accepting workshop proposals from GSAs so if you have something you want to share and teach to other GSAs start thinking about it! If you want to be on the planning committee, let us know.
GSA Conference 2013!
Planning is underway for the 2013 GSA Conference! We are now seeking sponsors for the upcoming conference in November 2013. The Youth Project is a non-profit org, so our funding to provide a large conference is limited. Sponsorship from other businesses/groups/organizations allow us to keep the conference free and accessible!
Click here to download our sponsorship information package.
If you have any questions don’t hesitate to get in touch with us!
Past AGM reports: 2010-2011 | 2011-2012 | 2012-2013
It Gets Better
Check out this It Gets Better video from the employees of Pride Health, Capital Health and the IWK - a big thank-you for all the Youth Project shout-outs! These are the people in your community!