For LGBTQ Education Week, One Colorado hopes to add to the state's 266 Gender and Sexualities Alliances, also known as Gay-Straight Alliances, or GSAs, in the state's middle and high schools.
One Colorado is the state's largest advocacy organizations for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer Coloradans and their families. LGBTQ Education Week started Monday and ends Friday.
GSAS are organized and run by students in their schools to provide support and work for policy changes that support LGBTQ youth. One Colorado provides information called “Get It Started: A Guide for Developing Gay-Straight Alliances.”
That information is available by clicking here.
In the last legislative session, lawmakers passed House Bill 1192, which requires that civic education programs include LGBTQ history along with that of racial and ethnic minorities.
The bill was signed by Gov. Jared Polis, the state's first Jewish and openly gay governor.
“One Colorado’s work is far from over, especially when it comes to improving outcomes for our youth," Daniel Ramos, One Colorado's executive director, said in a statement. "Even with over 266 Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) currently active in schools all across Colorado, LGBTQ youth still experience bullying at nearly two times the rate of their non-LGBTQ peers and contemplate suicide a rate four to five times higher than their non-LGBTQ counterparts.
"We must do more to close the gap for our youth. Our goal is to ensure that each and every student who walks into their school is entering a space that welcomes them as they are and is fully equipped to meet their specific needs — be it academic, social, emotional, or cultural.”
The week will also highlight One Colorado's safe-schools achievements.
“Students are able to succeed and become the best learners they can be when they are part of affirming and accepting school communities," stated Jordan Anthony, One Colorado's youth program coordinator.