In certain cases, research showed these three factors protected youth’s well being against victimization.
Furthermore, youths who participated in a GSA reported lower levels of depression and higher self-esteem (Toomey, Ryan, Diaz, & Russell, 2011). Researchers have argued that GSAs are a grassroots student initiated form of activism. are subject to serious obstacles that may impact their ability to perform in school.
The inclusion of heterosexual "straight allies" in the missions of these groups "is an important distinguishing factor from early support groups for glbtq teens, and recognizes the need for a comprehensive approach to youth safety," and attempts to build a network of support for non-heterosexual and transgender teens, as well as raising awareness of homophobia and heterosexism.
LGBT students routinely experience harassment in their schools however, GSAs and other support clubs have been found to provide social support for LGBT students.
They are part of the LGBT student movement and participate in national campaigns to raise awareness, such as the Day of Silence, National Coming Out Day, No Name Calling Week, Many of these state based groups and local chapters of GLSEN participate in the National Association of GSA Networks.
GSA Networks have been formed to help local area students to network and connect to local resources, provide training for youth leaders, and sponsor local GSA efforts.
found primarily in North American high schools, colleges and universities, that are intended to provide a safe, supportive environment for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) youth (or those who are perceived as such) and their straight allies.
The goal of most gay–straight alliances is to make their school community safe, facilitate activism on campus, and create a welcoming environment for LGBT students.