Michelle Eisenberg, advisor of GLSEN's 2016 GSA of the Year, at the GLSEN Respect Awards — New York
LGBTQ students across the country, many for the first time, are questioning whether they have an ally in the White House. Last week, the Departments of Education and Justice withdrew Obama-era guidance issued to school districts for protecting trans students. As a GSA advisor, I fear for the students in our club, especially the trans students who are afraid after the reversal of the guidance.
Especially those with intersecting marginalized identities, like many of the students in the GSA I advise, many LGBTQ youth have grown up facing injustice their entire lives. With people like Secretary DeVos in power and President Trump himself who has yet to make clear any plan to support LGBTQ students, I fear that this injustice won’t stop.
Last year, GLSEN recognized the GSA I advise as the GSA of the Year, and they’re now searching for this year’s honoree, to be recognized at the GLSEN Respect Awards – New York, where the GSA will share their story and they’ll celebrate their achievements together (Have you nominated your GSA yet, or one you know?)
In my view, superstar GSAs are ones whose conversations trickle into larger classroom discussions. They plan initiatives that make their school more inclusive, like LGBTQ Pride Month, LGBTQ-inclusive proms, or GLSEN programs like Day of Silence or No Name-Calling Week. But above all, they provide critical, life-changing support, even when it’s not coming from the federal government – and that’s worth celebrating.
Michelle Eisenberg is the advisor of the Academy for Young Writers GSA, GLSEN’s 2016 GSA of the Year. Nominate your GSA for this year’s honor before March 1.