Triumphs and Setbacks of Gay Straight Alliances



In 2009, The Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network released a survey concluding that 90 percent of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender students experienced harassment in the school setting. Two years later on June 14, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced in a letter that gay-straight alliance groups should have the same rights and protections as other clubs at secondary public schools.

This stance represents the long struggle for LGBT youth, allies, and advocates in the fight for acceptance and equality in the school environment.

There are now more than 4,000 gay-straight alliances in schools throughout the United States. Since the late '80s, there have been many ups and downs for gay-straight alliances, both at public and private schools. The Advocate takes a closer look at a sample of occurrences that have changed the face of gay-straight alliances in America.