Indiana Gender and Sexuality Alliance Network

Our Mission

The Indiana Gender and Sexuality Alliance exists to support, connect, and empower lgbtq+ youth in schools.

Our Vision

The Indiana Gender and Sexuality Network looks to achieve its vision to:

Support youth through
  • Creating Safe Spaces
  • Providing access to resources
Connect youth by
  • Bringing them together at regional meet ups
  • Bringing them together statewide at the annual Youth Summit
  • Provide a statewide network of Allied teachers and adults ready to help
Empower youth in
  • A statewide youth council driving the network
  • Advocacy campaigns born in youth passion and led by youth vision
A Brief History

The Indiana GSA Network was formed in 2006, when Jill Thomas-Kingery partnered IYG with the National GSA Network in San Francisco.

In 2008 Graham Brinklow took over coordination of the Indiana GSA Network. At that point we were connected to 6 LGBTQ+ youth groups, which were mostly community-based groups in bigger cities and a few high schools.

Every summer at Pride events all over the state, Graham talked to youth about starting a Gay Straight Alliance at their schools. We also have a long standing relationship with the Indiana School Counselors Association and the Indiana School Social Workers Association, where Graham talked to adults in schools about starting GSA's.

The number of Indiana high school GSAs started to grow exponentially. Unfortunately, it was the number of national and Indiana LGBTQ youth suicides in 2011 that finally showed many schools the need for these groups.

In the 2014-15 school year, we had our first influx of Indiana middle schools asking for help starting a GSA of their own. At this point we have around 80 groups, mostly school-based, in our network, with an additional 45 that are either hoping to start or restart.

January 2016 Lane Banister took over as the coordinator for the network. Lane’s first effort was a website with accessible resources for GSA’s to access. Lane also worked on creating more regional events and strengthening ties between neighboring GSA’s. 

The midwest region of the National GSA Network got its first regional coordinator, Frank Chestnut, in January 2017. We are excited to see what great things happen in the midwest with his help!