Policy & Advocacy

GLSEN Public Policy Office

Our Commitment to LGBTQ+ Students and Educators: Policy, Advocacy & Action

A Quality K-12 Education is a Fundamental Right for Every Student

A Quality K-12 Education is a Fundamental Right for Every Student

The GLSEN Public Policy Office leads the development of safe and inclusive national, state, and local policies that create positive school climates for all students, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression. GLSEN’s policy work strives to dismantle all identity-based oppressions including but not limited to, race, ethnicity, ability, and immigration status. Staff serve as the primary government affairs liaisons for the organization. The Office supports the leadership of a network of volunteer policy coordinators from local GLSEN Chapters around the country. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Office continues to work in partnership with policymakers and advocates across the country to identify ways to center equity in education. GLSEN is a member of several national public policy coalitions that include:

Federal Policy

GLSEN has a longstanding record of federal policy victories. The Office works directly with federal agencies such as the U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In addition, the Office is GLSEN’s liaison to Members of Congress.

Hands drawing on a protest poster.

Holding poster that says “Let Youth Lead.

State Policy

GLSEN Chapter volunteers and national Office staff work in coalition with state-based organizations to advance affirming policies and defeat harmful proposals in state legislatures and state education agencies. GLSEN had a lead role in passing enumerated anti-bullying and harassment legislation across the country.

Local Policy

The Office supports the leadership of a network of volunteer policy coordinators from GLSEN Chapters around the country. Together with grassroots partners they help pass school board policies that encourage positive school transformation where LGBTQ+ identities are affirmed and every student can thrive and reach their full potential.


Students getting on a bus.

Student entering a men’s restroom while looking at the women’s restroom sign.

Policy Resources

GLSEN advocates for making schools safer for LGBTQ young students through the passage of laws and policies that protect them from harassment, bullying, and discrimination. 

GLSEN has created a toolkit of evidence-based model policies and policy recommendations based on what’s working across the country and what our expertise shows us will make schools safer for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression. Our policy toolkit, including our model policies and “Respect for All: Policy Recommendations to Support LGBTQ Students,” is intended for application and adaptation to any community, at any scale. Bring our policy resources to your superintendent or principal, your school board, or even your state legislature to advocate for policies to support safe and affirming schools for all.

If you’re interested in making your school a safer space, we’re here to help. GLSEN has developed and made available a range of tools for individuals and groups working at any level to implement a safe schools campaign.

Action Center

Together, we are a movement of action-takers. We are students, educators, faith leaders, families, and community members who know that we can be effective when we work together, use our voices, and center the experiences of LGBTQ youth in policy change. We envision a future where LGBTQ students feel safe and affirmed at school, and we’re asking you to join us in creating it right now. Take action in support of policies that make schools safer for all and in opposition to pending threats.

Group of advocates holding GLSEN signs and pride flags.