GLSEN, which formerly stood for the Gay, Lesbian, & Straight Education Network, is an organization founded in 1990 in the United States that seeks to end discrimination, harassment, and bullying based on sexual orientation, gender identity and gender expression in K-12 schools. Many LGBT students, in response to victimization, avoid school altogether, which can strain their performance and lead to academic failure.
GLSEN has worked with the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services to create model policies that support LGBT students and educators, including the first-ever Trans Model Policy, as well as implementation guides to ensure that these policies are considered, passed, and implemented
GLSEN focuses its efforts on the support and opportunities provided by the four pillars of safety, respect, health, and leadership. Through programs, research, policy, training, and resource development work, GLSEN has built a network of over 13,000 educators across the country.
In addition to national efforts, GLSEN works locally through chapters. As of 2015, there are thirty-eight chapters across the twenty-six states that train 5,000 students, educators, and school personnel each year. The chapters also support more than 4,000 registered school-based clubs, commonly known as gay–straight alliances (GSAs), which work to address anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying, and harassment in their schools. GLSEN also sponsors and participates in a host of annual “Days of Action”, including GLSEN’s Day of Silence every April, GLSEN’s Ally Week every September, and GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week every January.
GLSEN has developed resources, lesson plans, classroom materials, and professional development programs for teachers on how to support LGBT students, such as “Safe Schools” training. Ready, Set, Respect! is an elementary school toolkit developed to help educators ensure that all students feel safe and respected. GLSEN’s Safe Space Kit, which has been distributed to over 63,000 schools in the country, provides educators with a guide for supporting LGBT students, as well as Safe Space stickers and posters.
Omaze is an online fundraising platform that offers” once-in-a-lifetime experiences” and exclusive merchandise in support of critical causes, with donors invited to donate $10 for a chance to win. And it is doing so for GLSEN, courtesy of Marvel Comics.
By offering every $10 donor the chance to appear in an X-Men comic later this year. The art sample suggests it could be X-Men Blue, but that’s just a suggestion.
The X-Men have often been seen as an analogue for hatred and bigotry, and have been both an analogue for prejudice against the LGBT community, but in more recent years have also sought to include such individuals amongst their cast.
The winners will receive the original art of the page and the comic signed by the artist.