Community GSA Supports

How will I get support with my GSA?
The goal of the GSA Coordinators and Community Supports is to provide resources that schools can use to create a GSA specific to their needs and school culture. Services from the folks and organizations below can look like:

  • school staff professional development
  • school district policy consultations and training
  • class presentations
  • GSA visits with teacher sponsor and students
  • speaking engagements
  • resource-sharing and community connecting

We hope to connect students & teachers with resources, organizations, and the tools to support a GSA club in their school. Community Supports hope to contribute to more welcoming, respectful, and safer learning environments for students of all genders and sexual orientations in and outside Alberta schools. The GSA Coordinators aim to connect schools and organizations by providing resources, traveling across Alberta to schools who request support, and planning the annual Alberta GSA Conference.

There are many organizations across Alberta that provide support to GSAs in schools. Below are some folks and organizations who can support and connect you with a variety of resources:

GSA Coordinator for Calgary & Area

Hilary Mutch (she/her) is an educator at the Calgary Centre for Sexuality (CFS) and the coordinator of Camp fYrefly, a 4-day retreat for LGBTQ2S+ youth as well as the Calgary GSA Network. She was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta (Treaty 7 Territory including the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai, Stoney Nakoda and T’suu T’ina Nations as well as the Métis Nation Region III) and holds a B.A. from McGill University. As the LGBTQ2S+ Community Development Coordinator she believes in bringing youth-centered, creative and socially just programming to participants.

The Centre for Sexuality can provide support in the form of resources like stickers and buttons, information about community supports and idea for activities and fun discussions for your GSA group. If you are a school staff or student in Calgary and area and have questions about GSA’s, or would like to start a GSA – you can contact them for more information!

If you would like information, support, or resources regarding GSA/QSA’s in Calgary & area, you can contact the Hilary by e-mail hmutch@calgarysexualhealth.ca or phone at (403) 283-3054.

Rural Alberta GSA Support

Michael (he/him) hales from a small town in Nova Scotia and knows firsthand the effects of communities lacking supports for the LGBTQ community. Now living in Edmonton as the altView Foundation‘s Executive Director, he brings his passion for community engagement to Strathcona County and beyond. His role involves guiding altView to even stronger community relationships through Gay Straight Alliance facilitation, community presentations that promote empathy for LGBTQ2+ community members and development of programs to address the needs of LGBTQ people and their allies in rural Alberta. Michael’s guiding principle is that no one should need to leave their communities to access vital services and programming.

Michael’s hobbies include walking dogs he does not own, exploring all the incredible nooks and crannies Canada has to offer, baking pies without using recipes, roadtrips far and wide, and ranting about the importance of empathy and collaboration in our diverse society. If you are someone in rural Alberta and are having difficulties finding the support you need (or you just have a really great pie recipe you think he should be aware of), Michael can be reached at mike@altview.ca

GSA Support in Lethbridge: Cayley

Cayley (she/her) is the Counselling Coordinator for Lethbridge Public School District No. 51.  Cayley’s role focuses on supporting and maintaining wellness throughout the Lethbridge Public School District.  A passionate supporter of positive spaces in all public settings, Cayley’s work extends to supporting the local GSAs at both the middle and high school levels.  Cayley also works with school administrators throughout the district, at all three divisional levels, to ensure that schools are welcoming, caring, positive spaces for ALL students, staff, and families. It is a priority for the Lethbridge School District to ensure that all students and families are reflected and supported in their learning environments, resources, and support systems.

Part of Cayley’s role is to bring people together to help identify the gaps and overlaps in the public school community, and to do something about them.  In an effort to identify and nurture positive supports for the youth of southwestern Alberta, Cayley is working with a group of passionate people to put on a Teen GSA Conference in Lethbridge. The goal of the small-but-mighty committee is to make access to a yearly conference, an affordable possibility for any youth in the region.

If you would like to speak with Cayley about some of the work going on in the Lethbridge Public School District, or you would like to have her facilitate a connection to a specific person or group, please don’t hesitate to contact her by e-mail at cayley.king@lethsd.ab.ca or by phone at (403) 380-5320.

Community Supports

Students in rural communities often start groups in their town or local community centres to bring together students from neighbouring schools. A great example of a community GSA support is Spruce Grove GSA Society. They are a volunteer-run not-for-profit that provides support for students in schools in & around Spruce Grove. They have put in a ton of effort in creating fun ideas, tips, and resources for folks who want to start community GSAs.
Check them out at: www.sprucegrovegsasociety.org

 

 

Additionally, the youth-led Sexual and Gender Acceptance Edmonton  group is dedicated to supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth and GSAs in the Capital Region and Wetaskiwin area. They host events and activities in both Edmonton and Wetaskiwin that provides a safe space for LGBTQ2S+ youth to congregate, have fun and create lasting memories.
Check them out at: www.sagaab.ca

 

 

The altView Foundation works with LGBTQ2S+ youth in schools, facilitates staff training and PD days, conducts health class presentations, and supports the great work of GSAs in those schools. Through that work, they realized a very important group of people who were lacking for supports: parents and families. Youth supports are growing across the province but parents and families have often been overlooked. The altView Foundation believes that parents and families are crucial to the support of LGBTQ2S+ youth. Supportive Parents is envisioned to be a resource to help fill those gaps by hosting peer-to-peer articles, surveys, blogs, resources, and so much more.
Check them out at: www.supportiveparents.ca

 

Mon AAH- Les FrancoQueers: le comité FrancoQueer de l’Ouest est la ressource connexe 2SLGBTQIA+ pour les personnes d’expression française en situation minoritaire dans l’Ouest Canadien. La mission du comité FrancoQueer est de mener le dialogue sur les enjeux de la diversité sexuelle et de genre afin de sensibiliser les milieux francophones minoritaires aux identités 2SLGBTQIA+.
Plus de ressources ici: www.fja.ab.ca/francoqueer

Do you provide supports to GSA clubs in your area? Join the Alberta GSA Network Facebook group and share your resources with the online community!