Monday, May 11, 2009

GSA Monday Topic: Thoughts for Next Year, Part 1. Tentpoles, Anchor Stores, and Events of the Season!

Thousands of GLBTQ people and our straight allies
wore RED at Last year's Gay Days in Disneyland

And I was one of them!

As this year winds down, it's a great opportunity to think through what goals you have for the GSA next year. Over the next few weeks, I'll be tossing out some ideas for YOUR group to discuss. (And if you don't belong to a Gay-Straight Alliance club beyond this virtual one, I'll be sharing some ideas for you, too!)

Something you might want to consider for next year is the idea of building the semesters (or trimesters, or whatever your school calendar is) around one or two major "EVENTS."

Kind of like how malls have "anchor stores" - usually big department stores that ostensibly make it worth walking to the end and then turning around. It's something to build around.

Even movie studios have the idea of a "tentpole" movie during the summer. Something big that everyone (they hope) looks forward to. An "event" that you plan things around.

So similarly, what about structuring next school year's GSA activities around one or two events?

You can create a GSA winter dance and/or a GSA Prom - even teaming up with some other local schools' GSA clubs or the local PFLAG chapter to pull it off.

You can organize a GSA field trip to something like Gay Days at a local amusement park...

You can bring in a speaker to talk to the GSA and the whole school...

You can organize a movie series...

You can shoot your own video...

You can organize a book club to read and discuss some great GLBTQ Teen books - and you can choose which books from the amazing lists here!

There are so many options - talk with your group and brainstorm what YOUR GSA can get excited about. Having a event to build towards for each session of school will help give some focus and contribute some important momentum for each meeting of your club.

And if you find yourself with only this virtual club membership, think about how you can build your year around an event that would be exciting and affirming for yourself. Some goal/experience you can work towards and achieve. You, too, can find a GSA Prom in your state and plan to attend. You can go to a PFLAG meeting. You can travel to a local (or national) amusement park's official or unofficial Gay Days. You can bring in a speaker to where you go to school or work, or you could go see a speaker. You can rent your own movie series. You can shoot your own video. You can create your own book club to read and discuss some great GLBTQ Teen books!

Funny, those lists of possibilities are very similar.

I guess my point is that giving some structure to what you hope to get out of being part of your GSA (real-world and/or virtual) is something I hope you consider.

Have fun dreaming, setting some goals, and planning for next year!


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