Friday, February 12, 2016

Human Relations Day - Achievement Unlocked

Yesterday was Human Relations Day at Lynbrook High School, and I presented during six different class periods containing three to four classes per session. I'm sure I spoke to at least 100 students as well as their teachers and a few other staff members. It was such an amazing experience to go back to the high school that I graduated from and see how different the school environment has become. I'm not talking about the new TV screens in the Auditorium (but seriously those are pretty sweet), I'm talking about the kids. I'm talking about the presence of mature students that are willing to learn about those who are different than themselves.

I have many positive memories growing up in Lynbrook, but that doesn't mean it was always a very accepting and nurturing place for anyone outside the norm of 'plays sports and is religious in some way'. I am so proud that the community came together for our panel two weeks ago (Link: covered by, and on the front page of, our local newspaper), and that I was invited into the school to teach about the LGBTQ+ community as well as share my personal story. I was not only intrigued by the questions that followed my presentation, but happily surprised at how many kids said "thank you" either after the presentation itself or when they saw me in the hallways.

Later in the day, I encountered two students talking to a teacher about something from my presentation about transgender people and sex assigned at birth, and it was amazing to hear students talking about it. Many of them seemed genuinely interested, and to know that I got through to so many of them is such an incredible feeling.

A very heartfelt and special thank you goes out to Mary Kirby, Robyn Raleigh, and Laurie Mitchell at LHS for reaching out to me and allowing me to be involved with this marvelous program. Can't wait for next year!