My name is Hannah and I’ve been working at Jer’s Vision for the past year as one of the educational coordinators. This means I have the privilege of going into a different school two days a week to tell students all about my own experiences. I came out as queer when I was 14 and struggled to find an identity and community I could connect to. Now at 19, I feel more confident in myself and have found love and support in the queer community. I love that I have the chance to tell students about my own life, and teach them that struggling with your sexuality and being queer is totally okay and something to be proud of.
These GRIS workshops have a unique structure. They are question-and-answer based and focus on stories about our lives. Students are encouraged to ask us any questions about LGBTQ people they might have, whether the questions are about us (eg. “When did you come out to your parents?”) or preconceived notions they have (eg. “Are all gay guys feminine?”). We love the openness of the GRIS workshop, where the students can control what they want to learn, whether it be about trans rights or the histories of homophobic words. Everyone leaves with a better understanding of LGBTQ people and know that we really aren’t all that different.
This year, Jer’s Vision is taking our workshops in a brand new direction. We are opening up the title of educator to youth volunteers. We are looking for people with a passion for social justice and queer rights. Previous workshop experience helps but is not necessary. Bilingual and francophone folks, people of colour, and trans and non-binary people are encouraged to apply. We are looking for volunteers for Wednesday and Thursdays during the school day from, 8AM-4PM.