Category Archives: Education

The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network Mission Statement


The Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network strives to assure that each member of every school community is valued and respected regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity/expression.

We believe that such an atmosphere engenders a positive sense of self, which is the basis of educational achievement and personal growth. Since homophobia and heterosexism undermine a healthy school climate, we work to educate teachers, students and the public at large about the damaging effects these forces have on youth and adults alike. We recognize that forces such as racism and sexism have similarly adverse impacts on communities and we support schools in seeking to redress all such inequities.

GLSEN seeks to develop school climates where difference is valued for the positive contribution it makes in creating a more vibrant and diverse community. We welcome any and all individuals as members, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity/expression or occupation, who are committed to seeing this philosophy realized in K-12 schools.

Diversity Statement

GLSEN, the Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network, in our mission to create safe schools for all, regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression, is dedicated to fostering a work environment and designing programs and resources that are inclusive and celebratory of diversity, and sensitive to the role of power and privilege in society.

GLSEN recognizes that heterosexism, homophobia, biphobia and transphobia are interconnected with other forms of oppression — a relationship that serves to sustain, enforce and amplify the individual and collective effects of these forces, and challenges efforts to address any one of them. In response, GLSEN actively works to understand and address how these forces intersect and operate to undermine a safe and healthy climate in K-12 schools and within our own organization.

GLSEN’s work in this area begins internally, with staff and organizational culture. GLSEN values the experience and knowledge that a diverse and engaged staff brings to our work, and recognizes the necessity of maintaining a network of staff, board members, chapter members, student leaders and volunteers that is reflective of and accountable to the communities that we serve. People who are commonly marginalized in society — including people of diverse sexual orientations, transgender and gender non-conforming people, people of color, women, intersex people and people of diverse abilities, national origins, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds and spiritual experiences — are valued contributors to the life of the organization, and we seek to include them in all areas of GLSEN’s organizational structure. This commitment includes attention to positions of leadership and management. GLSEN strives to create a healthy work environment for our staff and volunteers by fostering the development of cultural competency to improve our work climate and better advance the organization’s mission.

GLSEN applies this commitment to diversity and increased cultural competence to our programs and outreach, developing and carrying out our advocacy, leadership development, coalition building, research, education, resource development and fundraising efforts in ways designed to incorporate a diverse base of allies and advance safe schools issues in all communities. GLSEN is committed to learning about the unique needs of our constituents, so that we can effectively support them in their safe schools advocacy, and advocate for safe schools legislation, policies and interventions that are effective for members of different and overlapping communities.

GLSEN understands that our work around diversity is an on-going process, and will continue to prioritize the learning, dialogue and reevaluation that are central to the advancement of our work and mission.


Calif. Gov Signs Gay Education Bill

California governor Jerry Brown signed landmark legislation Thursday that mandates the contributions of LGBT people be included in school lesson plans.

The Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful Education Act was introduced by gay state senator Mark Leno partly as a way to combat bullying of students who are gay or perceived to be. The FAIR Act passed the Senate in April and the Assembly earlier this month. Aside from ensuring that the contributions of gays and gay rights are included in textbooks, the legislation adds sexual orientation to the state’s existing antidiscrimination protections that prohibit bias in school activities, instruction, and instructional materials.

“Today we are making history in California by ensuring that our textbooks and instructional materials no longer exclude the contributions of LGBT Americans,” Leno, a San Francisco Democrat, said in a statement. “Denying LGBT people their rightful place in history gives our young people an inaccurate and incomplete view of the world around them.”

To read how California’s schools will incorporate gay rights into their curricula,click here.