Five teenagers sat around a table and shared their stories of the trials and tribulations that went with passing through high school as an LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer) youth.
One had to transfer schools because of bullying without any administrative help; another almost dropped out of high school altogether. Each story they told had one common, underlying theme: that the school system had failed them, but they chose to rise above it and succeed in spite of it.
The entire time they talked there was an unprecedented silence over the crowd. I go to high school, I have attended assemblies, and never in all of my life in school have I seen such attention, respect, and quiet from such a large group of teenagers. I think it was then that I really understood just how powerful the YES event was, and how relevant it was to all of these kids’ lives.” —A student journalist with the Santa Cruz Patch writes about GSA Network’s Youth Empowerment Summit: http://bit.ly/UOeAY9
I remember the night of the 2008 Election when I looked at the bottom of the news feed and saw that Proposition 8 passed. My mom and dad commented on how happy they were that it passed, and I, being in the closet, was silently hurt and in shock. At school, all of my teachers talked about it, voicing their support of the proposition. It was as if everything changed for me. I was amidst a society that actually voted to classify me as a second-class citizen. The passage of Prop 8 made me feel wrong, immoral, and unsafe. It was a message from my state that I was not welcome or free to be who I was.
— Anthony Barros, GSA Network activist, in response to today’s news that the Supreme Court will hear DOMA and the Prop 8 case: http://www.gsanetwork.org/news/blog/breaking-supreme-court-review-doma-and-prop-8/12/07/12
Now it is 4 years later, and after coming out to my parents, friends, and community, I have educated many on what it really means to be gay. My mom still tells me in tears about how much of a mistake she made voting Yes on Proposition 8. She regrets it every day of her life and longs for its repeal. Now as we both watch on the news court after court rule Prop 8 unconstitutional, we have a new hope that the Supreme Court next year will stand up for everyone and strike Prop 8 down in California. The Supreme Court’s decision can change my life forever.