Posts Tagged ‘qyad’

2013 Queer Youth Advocacy Day

May 1, 2013 By Guest Contributor

By Sam Alavi

I’m sure that to a bystander, 70 young people standing on the steps of the capitol screaming “we’re here, we’re queer, we’re fabulous; don’t mess with us” is quite an interesting site. But to me, it’s just another day of activism.

This year’s Queer Youth Advocacy Day was especially meaningful for me. Not only did I get the chance to train a group of inspiring youth on the ins and outs of advocacy, but we were also given the opportunity to meet with senators and assembly members about AB 1266 and AB 420, two bills that directly impacted us as students.

The event came with the usual emotions of empowerment, excitement, and pride, but also with a feeling of nostalgia. This weekend marked the end of my work as a youth trainer with GSA Network, and as a high school activist as a whole. With graduation almost 3 weeks away, I say goodbye to being a youth trainer after many years and hundreds of workshops, and say hello to my upcoming adventures as an activist in college. I am incredibly humbled and inspired to have spent the weekend advocating for justice on behalf of all marginalized students alongside my fellow activists, and I couldn’t have asked for a better way to end the year.

Sam Alavi is a senior at Aragon High School and the president of her school’s Gay, Straight Alliance. In previous years, Sam has helped lead the GSA through many successful events and campaigns including Ally Week, Harvey Milk Day, and the annual GSA Castro Field trip. A board member of GSA Network and Deputy Director of Bay Area Youth Summit (BAYS), Sam is a tireless straight ally and a force to reckon with.

2012 Queer Youth Advocacy Day

May 1, 2012 By Shaun Osburn

queer youth advocacy day

I was 16-years-old when I attended the first Queer Youth Advocacy Day in Sacramento. At 32, this was literally a lifetime ago. I marched up to the capitol with my purple dreadlocks and combat boots demanding safe schools and safer-sex education in California classrooms. The largest gay-youth political turnout in the state’s history at that point, it was impossible to ignore the 300+ youth that converged upon the Capitol that day. And it’s just as impossible to ignore them today.

Launched in 1996 by LIFE Lobby (which would later become Equality California), Queer Youth Advocacy Day has evolved from a single day of lobbying to an expansive youth-empowerment weekend. Staff from Equality California Institute, GSA Network, The Transgender Law Center, The Trevor Project and ACLU of California work with youth on delivering their messages at the Capitol and support youth in overcoming fears they might have in delivering those messages to their representatives.

Or, as Assemblymember Sheila Kuehl told us back in 1996: “Remember when Dorothy found out that the Wizard was really a little old man behind a curtain, pushing buttons and turning wheels? Well, this place is like that.” Read the rest of this entry »