There is increasing national recognition that the school environment is where experiences of LGBTQ youth can be improved most successfully. School climate work, particularly the creation and support of Gay Straight Transgender Alliances (GSTAs), is a proven method of reducing experiences of homophobic discrimination, harassment, bullying and suicidal ideation.
OUT has almost quadrupled the number of GSTAs in Lincoln, Waldo and Knox counties from three to 11 - 100% of our mainland high schools in these counties now have a GSTA, as well as North Haven Island and the Wiscasset Middle School. OUT developed expertise in working with diverse Maine schools and created a comprehensive toolkit for addressing school resistance and forming GSTAs. We are now reaching into area middle schools with the same goals in mind.