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Improving the lives of students, gay and straight alike: Gay-straight alliances and the role of school psychologists


Correspondence to: Heather Murphy, University of Washington–Educational Psychology, Box 353600, 402 Miller Hall, Seattle, WA 98195. E-mail:


Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) students face many risk factors every day when they enter their school's door. These students often fear for their safety at school, are victimized, have academic difficulties, suffer from issues with their identity development, and are at risk for suicide. School-based Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs) have been shown to reduce the risk for LGBT students in these areas. School psychologists are in a unique position to be instrumental in alleviating many of the problems LGBT students face every day by being a GSA advisor. This article reviews the literature on LGBT student risk in terms of the benefits of a GSA and guides school psychologists on how to start and advise a GSA in their schools.