Why create a GISA?

There’s plenty of reasons: to inform, prevent, raise awareness, promote, mobilize or support!

What’s Interligne’s mission?

Our mission with the GISA program is to help the creation of supporting and welcoming spaces in schools and youth environments. We are available at any time to help you as you create your GISA: at the click of a mouse on this website, thanks to our guide or by phone if you call us!

The values of GISAs can be summarized in a few simple words:

  • Diversity : GISAs are an open space where anyone and everyone is welcome, regardless of appearance, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, background and beliefs.
  • Open-mindedness : Each person must be respected and accepted for who they are, what they believe and what they do, as long as they respect others in the same way. Every person is free to be themselves without fear of judgment or bullying.
  • Solidarity : Members have to support each other and create a safe space where violence and bullying are not tolerated. Projects will be created and carried out in collaboration with all those who wish to participate.
  • Equality : All of the members are equal and have the right of opinion and expression within the GISA. Discrimination must not be tolerated, either between members or towards other people.

 

A GISA history

Timeline

1988

The very first GSA is born in the United States of America

The first Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) is created in 1988 in a Massachussets school. This alliance was created by Kevin Jennings, who was at that time the director of the Gay Lesbian Education Network (GLEN).

1998

English Canada creates its first GSA

The first Canadian school to create a GSA was the Pinetree Secondary school in British Columbia, in 1998.

2010

Egale Canada releases a document about the impacts of GSAs

Fonds Egale Canada publishes a document revealing the positive impacts of GSAs in schools, and launches the website “MyGSA.ca” to help teens creating their own alliances.

2012

Ontario: Bill 13 forbids schools from preventing the creation of GSAs

Bill 13, “Accepting Schools Act” is enacted in Ontario. This law, which aims to combat bullying and discrimination in schools, prohibits schools from preventing the creation of GSAs.  

2013

Manitoba publishes guide for the creation of GSAs

In september 2013, Manitoba Education and Training in collaboration with EGALE Canada developed and published “Safe and Caring Schools – A Resource for Equity and Inclusion in Manitoba Schools (MB MYGSA)“. This document includes a guide for the creation of GSAs.

2014

New studies reveal the positive impacts of GSAs

New studies (Deming, E. et al., 2014; Peter, T. et al , 2015) reveal that students feel safer, hear less homophobic remarks and experience less bullying in schools where there is a GSA. Alliances even decrease depressive symptoms, suicidal thoughts and suicidal…

2015

Alberta: Bill 10 is enacted, forbidding schools from preventing the creation of GSAs

In May 2015, Bill 10 est enacted: this law forbids schools from preventing GSAs to be created in public and catholic schools in Alberta.

2016

New-Brunswick: a guide is published to help teens create committees for gender and sexual diversity

The Fédération des jeunes francophones du N.-B. (Federation of French-speaking youth of N.-B.) publishes a guide that aims to help teens create committees for gender and sexual diversity and their allies in the francophone schools of New-Brunswick.

2016

Interligne develops the foundations of the GISA programme

Interligne starts to develop a gender, identity and sexuality alliances programme (GISA) with the support of an advisory committee made up of members of the Montreal Coalition of LGBT Youth Groups.

2017

Alberta: the anonymity of GSA members guaranteed by new law

Bill 24, thanks to the support of the Alberta Teacher’s Association, is passed. This law, created to protect young members of GSAs, prevents school staff from warning parents that their children are members of a GSA or LGBTQ+ committee.

2018

Interligne launches the GISA programme

With the financial support of the Québec Ministry of Justice, Interligne’s GISA programme is launched. The website gisa.interligne.co and a Starter Kit are published to help Québec teens create GISAs in schools and other youth environment.
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