We hope everyone is enjoying their summer holidays! This post will take a look back at the GSA Leadership Forum which happened this past May. This was the 5th year that our national forum has taken place. 75 youth from across Canada met in Toronto for a week of learning about leadership, anti-oppression and how to ensure that schools are safe and inclusive for LGBTQ2+ students.
Here to write about their experience at the forum is Aiden, a returning youth who attended the forum as a youth mentor helping lead a group of forum participants.
Hey Folks!! It’s your friendly oakling Aiden, the proud mentor of the Oak house! In May myself, along with youth from across Canada got together in Toronto, excited and a wee bit anxious to attend the week-long CCGSD leadership forum. For myself, it was amazing to watch all the new attendees from small towns experience the big city for the first time an experience I had only a year prior at the 2017 forum.
During the mentors’ day, we made house posters with our mentees names, played some non-competitive (yet very competitive) games, learned about how to properly listen to someone and how to communicate with one another and talked about what we looked forward to in the week to come. Afterwards, we all settled down for a well-needed rest before our mentees arrived.
The following week we spent getting to know one another, catching up with friends some of us met at past forums and of course learning. The GSA Leadership Forum is an exceptional time where we were able to meet amazing people like Abby Stein and hear about her experiences being raised in a Hasidic community, becoming an activist and being an openly trans woman. We heard from people at the Nike Run Club and Out Magazine about the importance of physical activity in the lgbtq2+ community.
Looking back on the memories, I can honestly say it is an honour to be able to attend this forum as both a mentee and at this year’s forum as a mentor. Listening to other attendees who come from communities and families who aren’t accepting and hearing how much the forum impacted them, it’s truly incredible.
Follow us on social media or check back here to hear about how you can be involved in the 2019 GSA Leadership Forum. Information about participant and mentor applications will available in the fall.