Friday, January 29, 2016

Panel Success!

Wednesday night was amazing! Not only did a good amount of people show up, but it felt like people really wanted to be there - and for Lynbrook that's a huge step in the right direction. The questions seemed to flow nicely, everyone on the panel was respectful and although we went on for a bit longer than we had anticipated, it all worked out really well.

I'm so proud to be involved with this, and I really hope it catches on and maybe we can end up doing more of these. The kids were so excited to be able to sit up there and look out to parents and community members and teach them something. I'm sure many people got lost pretty quickly as we went through the LGBTQQIAA+ acronym and vocabulary, but there really wasn't a point where I felt like we completely lost the audience as a whole. Having the Rabbi and Deacon there I think was a fantastic benefit and really added something to the night. It was interesting and reassuring to hear them not only talk about religion in a positive light when it comes to the LGBTQ+ community, but to hear some personal stories and experiences from them I think truly got through to the attendees (Lynbrook is a pretty religious town as a whole).

I'm so thankful to have been apart of this whole process, and really want to thank the kids, Laurie, and Robyn for all of the work that they did to make this happen. It was such an inspiring experience.

I also got to meet and talk to someone at Pride for Youth and I'm hoping to get involved with them in some way. We'll see what happens.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

January 27th cannot come fast enough...

An event that has been 10 years in the making is finally happening, and I get to be a part of it. To say that I am excited does not do my feelings justice.

I am so proud of how far my hometown has come in the last 10 years. Not only do they have a fully functional and thriving GSA club (which we did NOT), they will now be hosting an event for the community based on LGBTQA+ issues and information. Myself, along with other individuals from the community (including parents, a Rabbi, a priest, and members of the GSA) will be conducting a panel not only to inform the community of LGBTQA+ matters but also to answer anonymous questions about these matters.

I am thrilled to be a part of this, and cannot wait to see where it goes and how it ripples out to not only Lynbrook but other towns as well. These kids are so inspiring and honestly much stronger and prouder than I was in high school. I admire their courage, and tenacity. They are so ready for the world to know who they are and to deal with it - ready or not.

It took a long time for me to feel the same way, and now I get to be that person that I needed when I was their age. I hope this is the first panel of many to come, and it will lead to bigger and better things.

"If you don't like how things are, change it! You're not a tree." -Jim Rohn