To put it simply, we are all about youth. Us youth come in many different personalities and beliefs; each of us are a part of different cultural and religious groups and have developed our own values. That being said, these differences are not always respected. Take sexual and gender minority youth as our featured group; half of surveyed LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer/Questioning) youth stated that they did not feel safe at school. Further statistics show that their suicide rate is 14 times higher than their heterosexual peers.
It’s not just resilience that’s being built up but also the upholding of every youth’s right to develop that versatility. As Camp fYrefly had shown us, the right to expression and exchange regardless of sexual orientation can be fostered. As the local initiative Acts of Greatness will show us, we can so forth bestow these high school youth an award for how they have participated in society and then lead in their right.
This non-profit organization is a part of the breakthrough into this unknown field; the lack of awards and funds in Canada as a whole for LGBTQ youth is a reason why founder Yiorgos Boudouris started this program in the first place. It’s a sentiment I would have to agree with, one that hits close to home as a one-time parade marshal at the Calgary Pride Parade. I highly recommend that you read an interview on him here. There’s potential for this sentiment to expand, but there will always indeed be a Calgarian edge from this first year on for the city’s first-ever award towards this group.
So here come’s my cliche; readers, if you’re an LGBTQ youth in high school, apply for the award and $500 bursary through this form. Either way, check out the insights on pride advocacy from both their website and their official Twitter account. Look onto their blog and perhaps share your own story. Come May 30, the application period may be over, but not that better understanding of this community or the works of an upstart organization.