An image from the GLSEN national website.
GLSEN, Gay Lesbian Education Project is a national project that hopes
to create a safe environment for all students K-12 no matter their sexual
orientation. Through activism within the community and nationally with other
GLSEN chapters the project holds teacher education workshops that helps
bring LGBT issues in the classroom come to the forefront. Their mission to
address LGBT issues in the public education sphere and demand for equality is
an example of “activism for the other” that in the end benefits everyone in a
P.O. Box 2386
Phoenix, Arizona 85002
P: (602) 705-9780;
The best way for an ASU student to get involved with this program is to send the group an email at firstname.lastname@example.org requesting more information about volunteering with the program. They also have booths at events like Pheonix Pride and the annual Rainbow Festival where information can also be received. Or if an ASU student wants regular updates the group has a mailing list that can be accessed easily by visiting their website.
We chose GLSEN for their direct approach to making K-12 schools a safer place for LGBT youth where they can be not just tolerated but accepted and thrive in a positive learning environment. The concept of acceptance verse tolerance is an over arching theme throughout all our organizations and is one of the reasons we selected them. This concept is vital since lesbian, gay and bisexual teens have “higher rates of suicide attempts, homelessness and substance abuse […] higher rates of harassment, discrimination, and sexual or physical violence […] (Saewyc)” compared to their heterosexual peers. This alarming statistic shows a very clear need for something to change in society since these non-heterosexual teens are often stigmatized and isolated in their communities and there for fall victim to these social issues as well as homelessness and drug abuse. If GLSEN was a part of every child’s education they could potentially learn acceptance of people that are different from themselves at a young age eliminating some of the social isolation of LGBT youth in their schools. This then long term can change society as a whole because when the people who were in the program at a young age grew up and taught the same values to their children, the problem ceases to continue. As previously stated this is an example of “activism for the other” that can benefit everyone in society through long term social change. Since the main reason for teen suicide in non-heterosexual youth is gender non conformity (Gup) this kind of education can work on overthrowing the whole system of gender binaries and encouraging acceptance of people who are different from one selves and respect for human life which is in our opinion the route of feminist activism. To value each person as what and who they are and have society accept them for it. This is a non profit organization that long term benefits everyone so it is important for our peers to learn more about the organization to find ways that they themselves can be more accepting of others. This program is especially important for any college student who plans on going into a career in teaching because then they would have the resources for teaching about diversity in their own classrooms. This kind of education is an exception, not the standard, so it is important that they have easy access to it to help make it a normal standard education for all students and teachers. This will over time change the way society views other people.
Gup, Nancy J. Prevalence of Suicidality and Contributing Risk Factors among Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Youth. June, 1996.
Saewyc, Elizabeth M., et al. "Stigma management? The links between enacted stigma and teen pregnancy trends among gay, lesbian, and bisexual students in
." Canadian Journal of Human Sexuality 17.3 (2008): 123. MasterFILE Premier. EBSCO. Web. British Columbia 27 Oct. 2010