Gender and Sexuality Alliance
photo: Gordon's Middle School contingent at the 2016 Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network at Wheelock College.
What is the Gender and Sexuality Alliance?
Gordon’s Gender and Sexuality Alliance is a Middle School student group facilitated by Gordon faculty and staff. It meets once a week during lunch and recess. There will also be opportunities for social events outside of the school day.
Who can participate?
The Gender and Sexuality Alliance is open to Middle School students who want to:
• work toward a more inclusive community
• learn about gender and sexuality diversity in an affirming group
• support all of their peers with compassion, confidentiality, and action
There are no requirements to attend and no formal membership roster. Every student is welcome to attend as frequently, or infrequently, as their schedule and interest level allows.
At meetings, the faculty and staff facilitators lead participants through conversations, presentations, community building activities, and self-reflection. The history and culture of the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, queer and intersex communities aresubjects for conversation, as well as the contributions of straight allies. As with Gordon’s Common Ground program, the broad goal is to facilitate positive identity development by helping students advocate for themselves and their peers, and developing leadership and empowerment skills.
Throughout the course of the academic school year, members of this group may choose to share about their personal experience of gender and sexuality. Confidentiality, including membership and conversations within the group, is an expectation of the Gender and Sexuality Alliance. Adult facilitators will also honor confidentiality unless there is a situation involving potential danger to the self or others.
The Gender and Sexuality Alliance may represent Gordon at the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network’s annual spring conference and attend the Rhode Island Pride Festival. In addition, the group helps organize the annual Day of Silence and Noise. Students also have opportunities to identify and execute their own social action opportunities with the help of their peers and the adult facilitators.
Gordon has a long standing commitment to the LGBTQ+ community, represented by:
Two social events per year specifically for LGBTQ+ families
Admission receptions for LGBTQ+ families
Recognition of the National Day of Silence in the Middle School, since 2006
A Gender and Sexuality Alliance in Middle School, meeting weekly since fall 2015
Two faculty members who serve as liaisons to Gordon's LGBTQ+ community
Representation by Middle School students at the annual Boston conference of the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, since 2015
Sponsorship for Youth Pride, Inc., COLAGE RI, Options Magazine and the Transgender Day of Remembrance
A Gordon graduate presented about LGBTQ+ literature at the fall 2017 GLSEN conference, in partnership with Gordon faculty more
Faculty regularly consult with peer schools and professional organizations on topics in gender and sexuality
The Joukowsky Family Library includes a rich collection of LGBTQ-positive literature and resources, with titles appropriate for every age