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Supporting LGBTQ+ Students

DESA’s Gender & Sexuality Alliance is a community and safe space grown to support and encourage LGBTQ+ students and allies to lean in, step up, and speak out for themselves, their community and those who will come after them.

The GSA convenes weekly during lunch/advisory to connect, discuss current issues/events, plan community-building initiatives and spread a message of love and inclusion. All are welcome regardless of gender identity/expression or sexuality. Contact Mr. Nearing for details on location of meet-ups.

You may have noticed that people are sharing their pronouns (he/him/his and she/her/hers) in introductions, on nametags, etc. This is happening to make spaces more inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people. DCPS and DESA want to ensure that students, staff and faculty are not misgendered (through incorrect use of pronouns) or called by their “dead” name.

Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting people’s gender identity, working against cisnormativity, and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders. This graphic (below) helps explain how to do this and why it is important. 

Students who need to add their affirming name to and/or update their gender in ASPEN have options. For support, families can contact Registrar/GSA Advisor Dana Nearing (he/him/his) at dana.nearing@k12.dc.gov to discuss further.