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empowering youth activists to fight homophobia & transphobia

GSA Network News
January 20, 2010

We hope you are having a great start to your new year!  In this edition of GSA Network News, we share one GSA activist's story about becoming a GSA President and Youth Trainer.  If you would like to get more involved with GSA Network, contact your local program coordinator!

In this issue of the News we also announce upcoming GSA events, save the dates, and lots of scholarship opportunities available to LGBTQ and Ally youth.

In solidarity,
GSA Network
Becoming a GSA Leader: Isobel's Story

Like many GSA activists, Isobel Murillo stepped up to lead the GSA at Pete Knight High School not out of choice, but out of necessity.

Isobel lives in Palmdale, a conservative community in the Antelope Valley where there are few spaces for LGBTQ youth.  In school, anti-LGBTQ slurs and harassment are common and teacher allies are few and far between.

Convinced that a strong Gay-Straight Alliance would improve the climate for LGBTQ students, Isobel decided to become President of the GSA. That decision, as Isobel quickly learned, was just the first step.  Because once you are in charge, what comes next?

For Isobel, like many GSA activists, the next step was to reach out to GSA Network for support and resources.  Isobel connected with Daniel Solis, GSA Network's Southern California Program Coordinator, and applied to attend GSA Activist Camp in Southern California in July 2009.

Since going to Activist Camp, Isobel joined the Southern California Youth Council and became a Youth Trainer to help other GSA activists learn how to lead their GSAs and fight against homophobia and transphobia in their schools.

Now Isobel has trained GSA activists from Bakersfield to Orange County, and is helping to organize the first ever GSA Leadership Summit in the Antelope Valley!

We asked Isobel what it's been like to become a GSA leader.  Here's what Isobel had to say:

"Before I became involved in GSA Network, I was very unskilled, unorganized, unresourceful, and timid.  I wasn't much of a leader at all, and my GSA was relatively stagnant compared to other GSAs.  During the few meetings we had, we often didn't know what to talk about, except unreachable goals that weren't even properly planned.

I didn't really have any skills at all.  I wasn't born a leader, as some are; I became a leader out of necessity.  I was still very shy at the time, and had a lot of trouble speaking in front of the club, and didn't know how to get them in the right direction, partly because I didn't have a direction myself.  The only thing that kept my GSA going was my desire to have an LGBT-friendly space at my school, and that's about all we were.  We did almost nothing until I began to really look into GSA Network's resources.

GSA Network helped me gain skills as a leader through its numerous resources.  The fact that much of it is youth-led helped me a great deal.  I saw how professional and intelligent the other youth leaders were in appearance, their mannerisms, and how they spoke, and I wanted to take on similar professionalism.

The first GSA Network event that I attended was Activist Camp, and it was an amazing help.  I was trained on every aspect of running a club and more. I learned the basics, such as the basics of sexual identity, how to effectively facilitate a club meeting, how to encourage full participation from my quiet members by creating a comfortable club environment, how to manage conflict, and plan and run a campaign on campus and beyond, even form coalitions with other clubs and organizations.  

I also learned how to defend myself, my GSA, and other students from anti-LGBT discrimination in school. At Camp, I found out about the resources, equal treatment and fairness my school is required to provide to us by law.  Activist Camp even went above and beyond LGBT issues, teaching us about ALL forms of oppression, such as racism, sexism, ageism, classism, and more, and how to recognize and help prevent them.  Throughout the time spent at camp, I also learned how to work with others and not always do things on my own. The moment that stands out the most for me is the Community Yarn Circle we had at the end of Activist Camp.  I felt like I was truly with my community.  I felt more at home than my physical home.

GSA Network helped me become a much more educated person.  Before Activist Camp, I was relatively ignorant of LGBT issues.  I learned of oppression and discrimination that I wasn't even aware was happening all around me.  I learned that even I was being insensitive and oppressive without even realizing it! I've learned through GSA Network, about how to be all-inclusive of people of all genders when speaking.  It isn't proper to refer to a group of people of mixed genders as "you guys," because not everyone identifies as a guy. So instead I've learned to say "you all" or "y'all" (which I prefer, due to cuteness).  I've also become much more aware and caring of other forms of oppression, including passive racism and sexism, patriarchy, and others.

I recommend other youth to work with GSA Network no matter what they are passionate about.  GSA Network is there to fight all oppression, not just homophobia and transphobia.  It is an organization unlike any other.  The members are incredibly friendly and helpful, and I consider them to be a second family."

With all the new skills and support that Isobel has gained from working with GSA Network, this fierce youth leader is ready to make a difference throughout the Antelope Valley.  By helping to plan the first ever GSA Leadership Summit in the Antelope Valley on March 20, 2010, Isobel is setting the stage for other GSA activists to learn, connect with one another and begin working to change the culture in the communities of the Antelope Valley.  

As Isobel and other GSA activists work to fight homophobia and transphobia in their schools and communities, GSA Network will be there to support them.


1. Inland Empire GSA Advisors Summit tomorrow!

Inland Empire GSA Advisors Summit (& potluck)

Date: Thursday, January 21, 2010, 5-7pm

Location: Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance
860 East Gilbert Complex (Gilbert at Paseo)
San Bernardino, CA 92404

***NOTE: This address does not come up correctly on MapQuest, Yahoo Maps etc! 
We are in a complex of County of San Bernardino buildings off of Gilbert. Please call if you need directions: 951-833-1329 (cell).

This will be a potluck dinner, so bring your favorite dish, salad or bag of chips. We will provide drinks.

Tentative Agenda: Report back of Q Camp & Slideshow, Check-in of IE GSAs' activities, Legal Rights Overview, Discussion of proposed Inland Empire Safe Schools Collaborative, IE Resources for GSAs

To RSVP, add topics to the agenda, or ask questions, please contact Daniel Solis: or 213-482-4021.  Thanks!

2. O.C. GSA Leadership Summit January 30th!
FREE Orange County GSA Leadership Summit

For youth ages 13-24

Saturday, January 30, 2010
10am - 5pm
The Center Orange County
1605 N. Spurgeon St.
Santa Ana, CA 92701

Come Learn About:

  • LGBT Activism!
  • Using Community Resources!
  • Expanding your GSA!
  • Your Legal Rights!
  • Networking with local GSAs!
  • And much more!

For more information and to sign up, message us at
or register online!

Contact Daniel: or Joey:
or call the GSA Network SoCal Office 213-482-4021

Co-Sponsored by: GSA Network, The Center Orange County, Anti-Defamation League, OC Human Relations, GLSEN, Orange County Equality Coalition,  PFLAG, and Planned Parenthood

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3. Latina/o LGBT Youth Leadership Summit 2/6 (L.A.)
FREE Latina/o LGBT Youth Leadership Summit

For youth ages 13-24

Saturday, February 6, 2010
10am - 5pm
Self-Help Graphics
3802 E. Cesar Chavez Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90063

Learn About:

  • LGBT Activism!
  • Using Community Resources!
  • Expanding your GSA!
  • Your Legal Rights!
  • Networking with local GSAs!
  • And much more!

For more information and to sign up, go to:

Co-Sponsored by: GSA Network, HONOR PAC, & Self Help Graphics

4. eQuality Scholarships - Apply Now
  eQuality Scholarships - Apply Now!

"I just started my first day of college today, and I have my first Diversity (GSA) meeting on Friday. College is really expensive, and I was thinking how hard this would have been if I hadn't received the scholarship. I just want to thank everybody again for making this happen for me. I am so grateful for what you have given me. I wouldn't be where I am emotionally and educationally without you and everybody else." -- 2009 eQuality Scholar

The eQuality Scholarship Collaborative awards scholarships to honor and encourage northern and central California students for their service to the lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender community.

Scholarships may be used for post-secondary education at approved institutions - colleges, universities, and trade schools. Some of the scholarships are specifically for nursing or medical school.

How many?

In 2009, 12 $5000 scholarships were awarded to graduating high school seniors, four $5000 scholarships were awarded to nursing students, and one $2000 scholarship was awarded to a medical student. A similar number of scholarships are expected to be awarded in 2010.

Who is eligible?

In general, eligible students fall into one of these categories:
  • Resident of northern or central California who completed or expects to complete high school or equivalent between 1 Jul 2005 and 30 Jun 2010;
  • Enrolled or accepted for enrollment in an accredited ADN or BSN RN program in California; or
  • Attending an accredited medical school in California or be a California resident attending an accredited medical school elsewhere in the United States.
For complete eligibility requirements, see the How to Apply page.

About the eQuality Scholarship Collaborative:

The Collaborative is the joint effort of a group of organizations based in the San Francisco Bay Area. It began in 1989 as a scholarship program by PG&E's lesbian and gay employee association, now PG&E PrideNetwork. The following year, the Bay Area Network of Gay and Lesbian Educators (BANGLE) joined the effort. Additional members have joined the Collaborative over the years, and more are always welcome.  Over the past 20 years, the Collaborative has awarded over 160 scholarships totaling more than $360,000.  The current organizational members of the Collaborative are: PG&E PrideNetwork, KP Pride, Genentech Out & Equal, KPMG, Out & Equal Workplace Advocates, and GSA Network.

5. Campus Pride (L.A.)

  USC's LGBT Resource Center, Campus Pride, & GSA Network present:

Campus Pride
College Prep Day & Fair
for LGBT & Ally Students and Families

Saturday, February 27, 2010
11am to 4pm
University of Southern California

This free & open to the public fair & college prep day allows students & their families an opportunity to interact with colleges & universities from across the country that value lgbt students. there will also be college prep sessions for students & families. Students should register to attend.

Students can register by emailing:
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6. Save the Date: Expression Not Supression March 20th! (Fresno)

Gay-Straight Alliance Network
and Community Link

Expression Not Suppression

ENS is a FREE conference for LGBTQQI youth activists and their allies who are dedicated to defeating homophobia and transphobia and creating safe and supportive schools for everyone. The target audience is high school & middle school students. Teachers & GSA advisors are welcome.

This event will be held on Saturday, March 20th
from 12pm-9:30pm.

The location of the event is 2131 N Van Ness Blvd, Fresno, 93704

The conference will help you be comfortable with who you are, how you want to express yourself, who you want to be, and the world around you. The day features workshops and speakers.  After the workshops, there is a free dinner, dance and drag show!

If you'd like more info or would like to help with planning,
please call 209-559-60980 or email

Registration will Open Soon! Stay tuned for details.

GSA Network News is a publication of Gay-Straight Alliance Network. Events, resources, and news items listed under "Other Announcements" are not sponsored or written by GSA Network, and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of GSA Network.

7. Call for Youth Journalists/LGBT History Video Project (Bay Area)


A documentary crew is looking for young journalists to serve as on-camera talent for a video series on GLBT History.  We are looking for up to four young people with natural curiosity who will work along side the creative team to develop the look and content for a ten-part series about the movement towards GLBT equality since 1900.  The young journalists will interview historians, organize presentations and help in writing content to appeal to the youth market.

We are casting the first of the journalists to appear in the pilot, which will shoot in either January or February. 

This is a rare opportunity for the right candidate(s) to actually work on the pre-production, serve as on-camera talent and assist in post-production for a series that will have national on-line distribution.

There is no compensation for the pilot, however, we are looking to include a stipend for the fully funded project.

 * Young Journalists between the ages of 15-25 (Those under 18 will need a parent's signature)
 * People who feel comfortable in front of the camera
 * GLBT youth who want to research history and tell stories to their peers
 * Creative young people interested in GLBT history

In small groups, candidates will interview a GLBT historian.   Each will then report on-camera what they learned in their own words.  We are looking for energy and organization skills.  In addition, we would like to hear suggestions on how to make the material most visually interesting for our target audience.

Email with AUDITION in the subject line.  We will contact you with the date of the casting call, to be held in Oakland.

8. New parent/teen communications workshop (East Bay)

The Pacific Center for Human Growth is excited to announce the creation of a Parent/Teen Communication Workshop through our Clinical Youth and Family Programs.

In this six week group we will work towards increasing healthy communication between LGBTQ youth and their families. Through this hands-on workshop we will offer families tools, support, and a safe space to explore and improve their relationships. This is will be a curriculum-based support group incorporating psycho-social education, therapeutic interventions and community/peer support. We hope to serve youth ages 14-22 and their parent(s) who are having mild to moderate problems in their communication and who seek to enhance their relationships.

Time:  Wednesdays, 5-6pm .  Starting in February.  6 weeks.

Place: Pacific Center for Human Growth, 2712 Telegraph Ave. Berkeley, CA 94705

Cost: $5-10 per group, sliding scale.

For more information please contact Rachel Kadner, Youth Program Manager at  (510) 548-8283 ext.514 or
9. Youth Calendar (S.F.)

San Francisco's LYRIC Youth Center hosts events almost everyday for LGBTQQ youth. 

LYRIC's mission is to build community and inspire positive social change through education enhancement, career trainings, health promotion, and leadership development with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, and questioning youth, their families, and allies of all races, classes, genders, and abilities.

Calendar of Events

10. Orgullo y Poder Latino/a Pride and Power Jan 23rd! Register Now!

Orgullo y Poder Latino | Latino LGBT Pride and Power Conference
Saturday, January 23
9 am - 5 pm

First Congregational Church of Fresno (Big Red Church)
2131 N. Van Ness Blvd, Fresno
Free Admission
Spanish and English

Orgullo y Poder
California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) is hosting a leadership conference to train LGBT people and their allies, in particular those who speak Spanish, to build understanding and support for LGBT people and their families in the Central Valley. We are encouraging as many LGBT youth and their families to attend.  The "Orgullo y Poder Latino" Leadership Conference will be held on Saturday, January 23, at the First Congregational Church of Fresno (Big Red Church) at 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd.  Admission is free.  This conference is also endorsed by the ACLU-NC and the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). The conference will be held in Spanish and English.

For more information, or to register, go to or call 800-677-5221. You can also find us on Facebook by searching for "Orgullo y Poder".  Scholarships are available to help cover the cost of hotel and travel. The Registration deadline is January 15, 2010.

To Download the Applicaiton click here.
 Contact Information:    
(831) 757-5221
Angeles Jimenez,
Lisa Cisneros,
11. Trans-E-Motion Meetings in Fresno on Saturdays (Fresno)

Trans-E-Motion Meetings in Fresno on Saturdays.
Trans-e-motion has a social meeting on the first Saturday of each month.  Time and location to be announced.  See calendar or call (559) 255-4075.

There is a Trans-e-motion business meeting on the third Saturday of each month at 5:00 p.m. to about 7:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Equality California office,  Van Ness Towers office Bldg., 1055 N. Van Ness Ave. "C", near Alhambra (South of Olive),  Fresno, California, 93728, U.S.A.
12. Community Link's Youth Meetings Friday Night (Fresno)

Meets Every Friday Evening
7:30pm -9:00pm

Fresno's GLBTQ Youth group's weekly meeting is every Friday evening.

1584 N. Van Ness Ave. Map to event

More info :
13. Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance and Performance Loft Present: "So Many Good Ways to be Bad" 

 Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance & Performance Loft Present:
"So Many Good Ways to Be Bad," a one-act play that follows the bumpy journey of a spirited group of queer and curious teenagers. Kit, Seal, Aurora and Robbie are searching for love and trying, against the odds, to do the right thing, whatever that may be.

8 p.m. Jan. 25, 26 and 27 at the Mitten Building in downtown Redlands.

`So Many Good Ways to Be Bad' is about being true to yourself and about being open to love, even when it hurts. In discovering this, the main characters make some bad choices and some exciting discoveries.

The show is produced in collaboration with Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance and will be presented at the Performance Loft, 345 N. Fifth St. in downtown Redlands. Tickets cost $10 for general admission and $5 for students.

For more information, visit
14. OUTspoken Sessions (L.A.)
OUTspoken Sessions

an open mic for queer youth and straight allies 19 and under

Every 4th Friday from 6:30-9:30 pm.

2170 W Washington Blvd., 90018

for more info or to reserve your spot email:

outspoken 2
15. LGBT Youth Calendars (L.A. and San Diego)

Check out these new calendars for LGBT Youth!
Los Angeles Youth

San Diego Youth
16. Women on the Move (WOM): Lavender Scholars Program 
Women on the Move (WOM): Lavender Scholars Program

One $500 scholarship is available to an Inland Empire high school senior seeking financial assistance to pursue a post-secondary education or an Inland Empire Community College senior who is seeking financial assistance to continue his/her education as an upper classman. The program is open to Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT), an Ally or students with LGBT parents.

Applications are available with Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) Advisors in local Inland Empire high schools; Community College Guidance offices; Financial Aid offices; Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance (RPYA); and, on the Lavender Scholars website. The cost to submit an application is free.

Students can mail completed applications to:
The Chicago Business Center,
C/O of the Unity Center - Women on the Move: Lavender Scholars Program, 2
025 Chicago Suite A20, Riverside, CA 92507.

The application deadline is March 1, 2010.  Late applications will not be considered.  For additional information and to submit questions, students can visit

17. Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship 2010 -- Applicaitons Available (Contra Costa)

Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the
Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship in 2010

To Apply Visit:
Since 1990, the Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship has been awarded to a Contra Costa high school senior who contributed to improving the environment for GLBTQ youth.  The scholarship was established in memory of Bobby Griffith, a gay youth from Walnut Creek, California, who committed suicide in 1983.

Deadline: Feb. 16, 2010
The Lifetime TV movie Prayers for Bobby dramatizes Bobby's life and his mother's growing understanding after his death.
Watch it online:
Our 2009 Scholarship Recipient was Jennie Drummond, from San Ramon Valley High School, now a freshman at Chapman University majoring in Graphic Design.  
Support the 2010 Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship Fund:
Fiscal Sponsor: Horizons Foundation, Bobby Griffith Fund,
870 Market St, Suite 728, San Francisco, CA 94102
18. PFLAG National scholarships available for 2010: $5000, $2500, $1000 scholarships!

Online link to all information:

PFLAG National scholarships available for 2010: $5,000 scholarships, $2,500 scholarships, $1,000 scholarships!

Review the following eligibility requirements:

  • You are a graduating senior entering higher education for the first time in 2010 (if you graduated in 2009 and took a year off you are still eligible to apply).
  • You self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) or as a straight ally
  • You demonstrate an interest in service to the LGBT community.
  • You have applied to an accredited higher education institution.
In order to be considered for a scholarship, you will need to submit: 

        A complete application form
        A one page essay
        A high school transcript
        One letter of reference
        A complete the release form

Application Process: 

Send your high school transcript, letter of reference and the release form in one packet to PFLAG National (see address below).

PFLAG National
1726 M St. NW, Suite 400
Washington, DC 20036

Submit your application and essay online (if you prefer, you may submit a hard-copy of your application and essay). For online submissions, you will be assigned a reference number; this number needs to appear on the cover of your packet containing the reference, transcripts and release form that you send to PFLAG National.

The deadline to apply for the PFLAG National Scholarship is March 12, 2009.

Click on this link to submit an application:
19. Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society (GALAS) Scholarship

Students from all fields of study are encouraged to apply.
$1000 renewable scholarship (must reapply to renew scholarship)
Applications accepted from: September 1st of each year
Application deadline:  February 28th of each year
Applicant notification:  April 1st of each year
Awards given out at the annual GALA (May of each year)
Recipient is highly encouraged to attend GALA to receive award.  One complementary ticket will be
given to recipient.

For undergraduate and graduate studies
(High School Seniors and College students who are accepted/enrolled in accredited colleges/universities)
Armenian descent (1st /2nd /3rd  generation Armenians)
If parents or grandparents are Armenian, names will have to be provided.
Active involvement in an organization that benefits the Gay Lesbian Bisexual Transgender (GLBT)
Must attend school in California
GALAS scholarship award recipient selection committee members are not eligible.

School acceptance letter/class registration
 For high school seniors: grades 9- 11
For college/university: current transcripts
Minimum GPA 3.0 (special circumstances taken into consideration)
Letters of recommendation (at least 2)
-     (1) from an instructor/academic setting
-     (1) from the organization that benefits the GLBT community
-     (optional) From a non-relative
Autobiography including statement of intent (500 word minimum)

All completed applications and supporting material must be received by February 28.
All material must be sent to:
Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society
8721 Santa Monica Blvd.
Box #654
West Hollywood, CA 90069-4511

 The application packet must be complete to be considered by the review committee.

Applicants will be notified of award by April 1 of the application year.

To download an application form, go to:

20. Become A Face of Change - LGBT Scholarships 
Point Foundation is the nation's largest scholarship-granting organization for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (lgbt) students of merit. individuals enrolled  in either an undergraduate or graduate program, beginning  or continuing in the fall of 2010, are eligible to apply.

Point Foundation (Point) provides financial support through multi-year scholarships, leadership training, mentoring and hope to LGBT students who are marginalized because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression.

Apply now through Feb. 12, 2010 here:


GSA Network
Gay-Straight Alliance Network

National & Statewide Headquarters:
1550 Bryant St., Suite 800
San Francisco, CA 94103
Phone: 415-552-4229
Fax: 415-552-4729

Southern California Regional Office:
1145 Wilshire Blvd. #100
Los Angeles, CA 90017
Phone: 213-482-4021
Fax: 213-482-4027

Central Valley Regional Office:
Phone: 559-268-2780
Mail for the Central Valley office may be sent to our headquarters in San Francisco.

In This Issue
NETWORK NEWS HIGHLIGHT: Becoming a GSA Leader: Isobel's Story
1. Inland Empire GSA Advisors Summit tomorrow!
2. O.C. GSA Leadership Summit January 30th!
3. Latina/o LGBT Youth Leadership Summit 2/6
4. eQuality Scholarships - Apply Now
5. Campus Pride (L.A.)
6. Save the Date: Expression Not Supression March 20th! (Fresno)
7. Call for Youth Journalists/LGBT History Video Project (Bay Area)
8. New parent/teen communications workshop (East Bay)
9. Youth Calendar (S.F.)
10. Orgullo y Poder Latino/a Pride and Power Jan 23rd! Register Now!
11. Trans-E-Motion Meetings in Fresno on Saturdays (Fresno)
12. Community Link's Youth Meetings Friday Night (Fresno)
13. Rainbow Pride Youth Alliance and Performance Loft Present: "So Many Good Ways to be Bad"
14. OUTspoken Sessions (L.A.)
15. LGBT Youth Calendars (L.A. and San Diego)
16. Women on the Move (WOM): Lavender Scholars Program
17. Bobby Griffith Memorial Scholarship 2010 -- Applicaitons Available (Contra Costa).
18. PFLAG National scholarships available for 2010
19. Gay and Lesbian Armenian Society (GALAS) Scholarship
20. Become A Face of Change - LGBT Scholarships
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APRIL 23-26!

Be sure you save the date for Queer Youth Advocacy Day in Sacramento!

Applications will be available soon. Checkout for info on all our upcoming events!


SAVE THE DATE! Don't miss the biggest Queer Youth Conference to hit the Central Valley!

Sing up to Help! Contact:

Registration will be available soon. Checkout for info on all our upcoming events!

Get a Site Visit at YOUR GSA!
Represent your School on the Youth Council!
Contact your nearest Regional Coordinator to schedule a site visit (a personalized GSA school visit) or join your regional Youth Council.

Nor Cal:

So Cal:

Central Valley: