June marks the celebration of Pride Month, honoring the Stonewall Uprising in 1969 that is credited as a major push for the Gay Liberation Movement in the United States. All month long, cities across the US host parades, festivals, workshops, and concerts to recognize the impact LGBTQ individuals have had on history. While June is a time of celebration, all year long, members of the LGBTQ community work in groups on college campuses to promote acceptance and provide support for students who may struggle with their identity. The Gay-Straight Alliance is one many students look toward for guidance.
One of the most popular nationwide campus organizations focused on the LGBTQ community is the Gay-Straight Alliance Network. They describe themselves as, “...a next-generation LGBTQ racial and gender justice organization that empowers and trains queer, trans and allied youth leaders to advocate, organize, and mobilize an intersectional movement for safer schools and healthier communities.” They host seminars, fellowships, and community days to empower and educate students while providing a safe haven for LGBTQ members. They understand that each chapter faces its own challenges and encourages them to drive campaigns that relate most to their community. As their website states, “Trans and queer youth of color use their collective voice and power to change the narrative about their lives and experiences, create visibility on campus and local communities, protect established student rights, and shift school discipline policies that push youth out of school and into the criminal justice system.”
Founded in 1998 in San Francisco, the organization is primarily youth-driven and works to “create school communities where all students can feel safe from discrimination, harassment, and violence based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.” They’ve since expanded and now include racial and gender justice.
GSA has grown to over 4,000 clubs across the country in both high school and college settings. While the organization does not have set guidelines for representation on graduation day, we offer a rainbow honor cord that is primarily used as a symbol for the LGBTQ community and we feel the perfect way to stand out!
As a reminder, our team continues to operate with a modified business solution, complete with remote and isolated order processing locations. Our goal is to safely deliver honor and recognition gear to schools and institutions to have ready for their students once graduation dates have been reworked. We understand the importance of graduation regalia and what it means to students and faculty and want graduates to mark their accomplishments in a way in which they deserve. No matter what your commencement ceremony looks like this year, our honor and recognition gear means the same and looks just as great!