The city’s advocate for LGBT communities is hosting the province’s first Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) summit this week.
OUTSaskatoon has partnered with Camp fYrefly to host the two-day summit for students and teachers to learn how to form and support their own GSA clubs.
Youth and education coordinator Amanda Guthrie said their goal is to create a network of support for schools that have GSAs or want to start one.
“Often times those students, whether in urban or rural settings, that are starting GSAs are the ones that need the most support and guidance in how to make sure their GSA is sustainable and successful,” Guthrie said.
GSA clubs are meant to foster healthy and supportive relationships between straight and LGBT communities.
The summit takes place April 15-16 at Walter Murray Collegiate.
It features keynote and guest speakers, more than a dozen workshops, a poetry slam and ‘queer prom.’ The conference is free, but participants must register on the OUTSaskatoon website.
The organization is also pushing for legislation to prevent schools from blocking GSA clubs, Guthrie said. She added legislation is needed over the Saskatchewan Government’s current policy, which states schools in the province must support a GSA club if requested.
Guthrie said a law would create a much more concrete symbol.
“That the government of our province sees a minority community, understands the issues they face and is willing to stand up for that minority community,” she said.