GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a small, but dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.
Over 25 years later, that small group has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.
We face a pervasive problem with a set of new challenges. 8 out of 10 LGBT students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are.
At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.
We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country — from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community — to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.
- We conduct extensive and original research to inform our evidence-based solutions for K-12 education.
- We author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.
- We partner with decision makers to ensure that comprehensive and inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented.
- We partner with dozens of national education organizations to leverage our shared expertise into creating great schools and better opportunities for every student.
- We empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities.
Joan with GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard
Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.