Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) advisor emails reveal that student club members allegedly ‘pooled together money’ to purchase chest binders for trans students.


Emails obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request reveal that a Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) club advisor in Waterloo Community Unit School District 5 sought advice from the nonprofit Public Health Institute of Metropolitan Chicago (PHIMC) regarding student chest binders.

A March 4, 2022, email from a PHIMC staffer states that “during the quarterly HS GSA Advisor Meetup yesterday afternoon” the Waterloo GSA advisor “shared that she had a question around something that happened at one of her Diversity Club meetings.” The email continues: “As she describes it, a few of her trans students aren’t able to get binders at home due to their parents and at a recent Diversity Club meeting a few other students pooled together money to buy binders for those trans students and now [redacted] isn’t quite sure what to do.”

Another staff member followed up regarding the “Binders for members of the Diversity Club,” but no further responses from the advisor were included in the response.

In a November 8, 2021, email from the GSA club advisor to a journalist, the advisor shares a club created list of ways the “community could help us.” The advisor shares that the “texts are from the kids” including “maybe try to raise money for kids who want binders but cant ask their parents like, if their mot out or their parent are homophobic/transphobic?”

The advisor also shares that the text “everytime someone is homophobic, they have to give us a dollar” was their “personal favorite” but “do not put this one in the article.”