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ATA forms provincial GSA for teachers

June 14, 2022 Cory Hare, ATA News Managing Editor



The ATA now has a gender and sexuality alliance (GSA) aimed at providing a safe space for members to gather, share their experiences and provide support.


Rin Lawerence,
Acting chair, ATAGSA


Adopted by Provincial Executive Council in April, the Alberta Teachers’ Association Gender and Sexuality Alliance (ATAGSA) held its first official meeting April 19 and has held a meeting every month since. Held virtually, the meetings include discussions and guest speakers, with the hope that attendees will be able to share what they learn with friends, families, colleagues and students.

“We had 90 people at our first meeting. It was incredible to see the response and that there is a need and that people were excited,” said acting chair Rin Lawrence.

The alliance operates under the general direction of the ATA’s Diversity, Equity and Human Rights Committee. Several ATA locals have GSAs that serve their members, but some teachers in smaller communities don’t have access to a local GSA or any community supports. The idea of creating an organization with provincial scope has been in the works for several years, said Lawrence, who is also the chair of the teacher GSA for Edmonton Public Local No. 37.

“The idea for the ATAGSA came about through our desire to give every educational staff member a space to which they can come and be connected to others,” Lawrence said. “It’s about reach and ensuring that everybody has a space to come to. The provincial lens provides that reach.”

So far, the ATAGSA has attracted strong interest from teachers who are part of a sexual and gender diverse community, as well as those who want to be allies, said Lawrence, who sees an ongoing need to provide a safe avenue for all teachers to come together and express themselves.

“I believe that we still are seeing resistance in our society to embracing gender and sexual identity. There is still a lot of work to be done in dismantling homophobia and transphobia in our society,” he said.

“We hope to continue to develop next year and welcome new and interested members to come, share, learn and grow with us throughout the year.” ❚


ATAGSA mission statement

The Alberta Teachers’ Association Gender and Sexuality Alliance (ATAGSA) provides a safe and welcoming space for all sexual and gender diverse Alberta teachers and their allies. We seek to advocate, create awareness, and discuss the unique experiences faced by the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. We provide space to create connections, build relationships, socialize, and share successes and struggles. Additionally, we hold regular discussions, invite guest speakers to share their knowledge, and share this learning back with our friends, families, colleagues and students. We stand in solidarity with each other, seek learning and welcome all identities.


The ATA library has a guide related to sexual and gender minorities available through its website:

Interested in attending the ATAGSA? Email for more information.




two-spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, 
queer/questioning, intersex, asexual and plus


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