In California, an organization formerly known as Gay-Straight Alliance network has changed its name to Genders & Sexualities Alliance.
“As a youth-driven organization, it is our responsibility to respond to this evolution and accurately reflect the identities of the young people we serve. With the support and guidance of GSA youth leaders, we are thrilled to announce that Gay-Straight Alliance Network has officially changed its name to Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network.
The name change has been a long time coming. We have heard from countless youth leaders who understand their genders and sexualities to be uniquely theirs and have moved beyond the labels of gay and straight, and the limits of a binary gender system. For several years, students have been naming their individual school-based clubs in a way that reflects the values and identity of its members.
We were also inspired to change our name given the evolving function of GSA clubs. For a generation, since the late 1980s, GSAs have served as safe spaces for LGBTQ youth to build awareness and community as well as prevent discrimination and harassment in schools. More recently, however, these student-led clubs have transcended their traditional role and served as important vehicles for deeper social change both on school campuses and local or statewide educational policy.
New Name, Same Vision
Genders & Sexualities Alliance Network will continue to be known and commonly referred to by our acronym GSA Network. And our focus as a next-generation LGBTQ+ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains trans, queer, and allied youth leaders remains unchanged. Our name evolution simply supports youth leaders in developing their true authentic selves with the ability to define their own identities.
Over the next few months, we will work to align our movement building strategy with the needs of trans, queer and allied students across the nation, support the development of trans youth leaders to tell their own stories in their own way, and deepen our presence in schools and communities where the rights of LGBTQ+ students are being denied, around the country and here in California. As always, we will work to ensure the rights of students of all genders and sexualities, continuing to empower this next generation of trans, queer, and allied youth that are leading and redefining the GSA movement.”
I’m not the least bit surprised by this change. Gay-straight alliances were originally created to support gay and lesbian students, but young people don’t want to identify as gay or lesbian anymore, even if they are actually homosexual. These designations are old-fashioned now, and much too “binary.” The cool thing to have now is not a sexual orientation, but a gender. In fact, sexual orientation is bigoted; anyone who has a sexual orientation is exclusionary and therefore oppressing people (especially if they are female and their orientation excludes males).
The goal of a gender and sexualities alliance is not to support gay and lesbian students, it’s to desegregate school washrooms and promote the idea that there are infinite numbers of genders that people may choose from, and that bodies need to be medically altered to reflect people’s “gender.” This does not help gays and lesbians at all, and in some cases it harms us. It reinforces sex stereotypes by claiming that anyone who is masculine is male, therefore lesbian women are encouraged to identify as male and change their bodies so that they appear male, instead of identifying as lesbian women. In addition, gender theory does not allow for lesbians to exclude males from their dating pool as long as those males “identify” as women, which is abuse toward women who are exclusively lesbian.
I predict that the ending of gay-straight alliances and the promotion of gender theory on youth will have the effect of confusing and harming gay and lesbian youth, many of whom are gender nonconforming and therefore likely to fall into the trans cult. It will also have the effect of turning young women away from feminism, which is one of the movements that lesbians need the most.