The photo is of Teddy Syrette, the keynote speaker, doing a homage to Whitney Houston. Photo taken by Spartan Youth Radio.
The Dare to Stand Out conference that was held on October 10th was a thing to be celebrated. The conference, held at Lo-Ellen Park Secondary School, had Gay Straight Alliances from all across the Rainbow District School Board and North Bay coming together to stand up against bullying, and celebrate what it means to be different.
The Gay Straight Alliance of LEPSS did an exemplary job. Under the guidance of Mr. Barnholden, they had decorated the school in hand-made posters and rainbow flags. They helped run the many workshops that took place throughout the day, and thanks to the skillful cooks of the Life Skills program, all guests were treated to pasta, salad, cupcakes, and delicious rainbow cookies.
The Dare to Stand Out conference had guests like Gaston Cotnoir, Carla John, and Teddy Syrette. They held discussions and ran workshops on everything from the Ins and Outs of Hooking Up to homosexuality in sports. In fact, Carla and Gaston handed out goodie bags of condoms.
The festivities didn’t end when the school day ended. In fact, many schools stayed to enjoy an all LGBT and Ally dance in the cafeteria. Despite the fact that the water fountains shut off not too long after the school day ended, everyone had an incredible time.
“We danced so much we had to run to the Life Skills room to get cups of water,” says LEPSS GSA member Megan Streich.
“Even though I didn’t really dance, I hung out with friends and met a lot of new people. I had a really good time,” agrees Mara Templeton, also a member of the Lo-Ellen Park Gay Straight Alliance.
Everyone who went seemed to have an incredible time. After the dance, running to catch her bus back home in a dress and high heels, an unknown girl screamed to her friends, “I can’t believe I have to wait an entire year to have a party like this again!”
Special thanks to Jeremy Dias and all the people at Jer’s vision who helped to make this happen!’
– Alexandra Wong, student of Lo Ellen Park Secondary School