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Exterior of Duke Ellington School of the Arts



Logo: Pride in DCPS

Supporting LGBTQ+ Students


GSA Advisor

DESA’s Gender & Sexuality Alliance is a community and safe space grown to support and encourage LGBTQ+ students and allies to lean in, step up, and speak out for themselves, their community and those who will come after them.

The GSA convenes weekly during lunch/advisory to connect, discuss current issues/events, plan community-building initiatives and spread a message of love and inclusion. All are welcome regardless of gender identity/expression or sexuality. Contact Mr. Nearing for details on location of meet-ups.

You may have noticed that people are sharing their pronouns (he/him/his and she/her/hers) in introductions, on nametags, etc. This is happening to make spaces more inclusive of transgender, gender nonconforming, and gender non-binary people. DCPS and DESA want to ensure that students, staff and faculty are not misgendered (through incorrect use of pronouns) or called by their “dead” name.

Including pronouns is a first step toward respecting people’s gender identity, working against cisnormativity, and creating a more welcoming space for people of all genders. This graphic (below) helps explain how to do this and why it is important. 

Screen Shot 2023-01-03 at

Students who need to add their affirming name to and/or update their gender in ASPEN have options.

For support, families can contact Student Affairs Manager and GSA Advisor Vin Testa to discuss further.

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