Gay-Straight Alliances Have Difficulty Uniting.
Over the past five years, gay-straight alliances have had to deal with more discrimination than ever. Some clubs had to exclude the word gay from their club name to be accepted. Others were forced to stop meeting after sponsors crumbled under heavy criticism. Club flyers made to promote meetings have been defaced and torn down. According to the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network, or GLSEN, over 1,000 gay-straight alliances have been developed. Gay-Straight Alliances are high school clubs for gay students and their straight supporters that work against discrimination based on sexual preference. One out of 15 high schools have gay-straight alliances, but community members or school administration do not support most of them (GLSEN). These clubs provide essential support for homosexuals in a difficult adolescent environment and every high school should strive to have similar student groups.
Gay-straight alliances provide a safe haven for harassed students. When the club is offered, a student that does not ordinarily fit in anywhere suddenly has found a their piece of the puzzle. According to a study by The American Association of University Women showed that, in 1993, nine percent of boys and five percent of girls "were often or occasionally called "gay" or "lesbian."" In 2001, those numbers had increased. Thirteen percent of girls and 13 percent of boys were being verbally attacked in the same nature (Sexual). This may seem to be a small number, but not for those students harassed verbally and physically on a daily basis. Some parents and administration believe that with the addition of this club harassment and violence would drastically increase. They believe that the homosexual students will be more prone to sexual harassment because they will be declaring their sexuality publicly in a school club. There has been no sign of more harassment in schools that include gay-straight alliances.