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Insideout has been providing training, support and resources for hundreds of LGBTQ youth organizing in their schools for over a decade. This Spring and Fall, we will once again be going on tour to support students working for LGBTQ liberation within their schools. With our headquarters in Durham, we realize that not everyone can make it to the Insideout events we hold several times a month. That’s why we are coming to you! But first, you have to Invite Us!
What if I don’t have or want a GSA/QSA?
We can help you start one. We also understand that GSAs/QSAs are not for everyone, and that some youth desire to create alternative types of LGBTQ groups that are not GSAs/QSAs, either in or out of school. If you are a youth-run or youth-focused group fighting for LGBTQ youth liberation, or a youth who wants to start one, we want to visit you. We are happy also to visit youth in schools who want to address sexuality and gender issues in their schools, but don’t have plans to start a group.
We will run a workshop for your Gay-/Queer-Straight Alliance, or if your school doesn’t have a GSA or QSA, for any students and allies who want to support LGBTQ youth organizing within your school in the months and years ahead. You can decide which workshop is best for you. There are three workshops to choose from. If you have a particular need that is not addressed by these workshop topics, please let us know! Workshops are designed to run one hour. You will also receive an iNSIDEoUT Power Book full of resources and ideas to help you reach your goals.
Workshop Option #1
GSAs/QSAs and schools inherit and perpetuate the racism in this country’s past and present. GSAs/QSAs are often more successful in affluent schools and are more accessible to white, socioeconomically advantaged students in general. This means the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community are further disadvantaged. This workshop helps you evaluate your club’s success at tackling issues of race, and work towards racial equity and inclusion within your club and school.
Workshop Option #2
Youth Power in Your GSA/QSA
The GSA/QSA movement is unique in being driven by young people and rooted in schools. Insideout believes that a grassroots, youth-run structure is essential for harnessing the exponential power of youth organizing. In this workshop, we talk about youth autonomy, adultism, and working with adult allies, and we help you find a leadership model that works for you.
Workshop Option #3
Starting and Growing a GSA/QSA
This workshop is for young people in schools without Gay-/Queer-Straight Alliances, or with GSAs/QSAs that are new or very small. The focus of the workshop is creating a plan to establish and grow the membership of your GSA/QSA. We will help you navigate the process of starting a club at your school, engage adult support, and create an inclusive, sustainable group that is representative of your school’s demographic makeup.
We hope this is a beginning, not an end.
The purpose of our visit is to increase your power to organize LGBTQ youth within your school. We hope that by providing you with some organizing tools, you will be more powerful in setting and achieving your goals in the future. Every GSA/QSA is different, with different needs and strengths. If your GSA/QSA were a garden, think of us as helping to till and nurture the soil. We want to help you in the long-term, by creating a sustainable space for your world-changing visions and friendships and awesomeness to emerge.
We will focus on and give priority to non-white and rural schools and communities.
GSAs and QSAs are more prevalent and successful in more affluent schools, and are less accessible to students of color. Forming a strong GSA/QSA and supporting the most marginalized members of the LGBTQ community requires a conscious effort to work against all forms of oppression. Our 2017 Shoutout will target youth from marginalized populations and youth who have less access to LGBTQ resources and support, including youth of color and youth in rural communities.
We aim to support queer youth activists from the ground up.
We believe that the GSA/QSA movement’s grassroots, youth-run origins are valuable, and offer a unique opportunity for youth to use their skills to help change the world. They also provide an easily replicable format for creating space where LGBTQ youth access life-saving friendship, support and resources.
We hope the energy we stoke will flow back to Insideout, and then back to you again.
Ultimately, we hope to build a vibrant, anti-racist network of youth, schools, and clubs that can act as a unified front for queer youth liberation. We want these school visits to feed back into Insideout, to help Insideout grow and flourish as an organization, so that we can continue to support you. We have an ongoing calendar of events outside of school and we hope you will join us and stay connected. You are especially invited to our Banquet and Gaiety May 27, 12-3pm where your GSA/QSA or school will receive an award for participating in Insideout’s ShoutOut, and a chance to greet the public.
Don’t forget to invite us!