We Are Family, a local nonprofit dedicated to providing affirming spaces for LGBTQ+ youth, is hosting their first GSA Coalition meeting from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 30 at the Main Library at 68 Calhoun St.

Gay-Straight Alliances or Gender and Sexuality Alliances (GSAs) are student-led clubs for LGBTQ+ youth and allies in middle and high schools. WAF already provides support and technical assistance to these groups, ranging from assisting with implementation to visiting schools to speak with club members.

The group is currently expanding their services, beginning with the creation of the Lowcountry GSA Coalition. The coalition will connect clubs all over the Charleston Tricounty region and provide ongoing in-school support, quarterly meetings, and more.

Thursday’s meeting is a chance for students and teachers to connect with GSAs from all over the Charleston Tricounty region to exchange ideas and engage in GSA planning and membership building.

“This is a great way to get connected with students in other schools that you’ve never met and do some brainstorming about what you want to do with your GSA in the coming year,” WAF wrote on Facebook. “So much is available to be created, and we just want you to have a good time, meet other youth, and socialize.”

WAF has also given students, teachers, and community members other ways to get involved and support the GSA Coalition, even if being a part of it isn’t a possibility.

Students can complete a survey or request a visit from WAF to their school or group. Both of these can be found on the group’s website.

School administrators, teachers, counselors, and advisors in the area can complete a separate survey, share info about WAF’s programs and services with their students, or also request a visit through the same form given to students.

Community Supporters are encouraged to write affirming letters to students, to let the kids know that they have their community’s support. The letters can be sent to WAF’s office (1801 Reynolds Ave. Unit B, North Charleston, SC 29405). The group will give these letters to students throughout the year during their visits to schools.