Women’s Day: Creating Safe Spaces for LGBTQI Youth

On March 16, 2018, ten students from the Women’s Leadership Project (WLP) at King-Drew Magnet of Medicine and Science led all-day workshops which focused on creating safe spaces for LGBTQI youth in school communities.  WLP students discussed the importance of gender pronouns, validating self-determining LBGTQI, gender-non-conforming and queer identities, and homophobic and transphobic stereotypes in mainstream media. Ninth, eleventh and twelfth grade students Lucina Ambriz, Allison Govea, Adebayo Ojute, Briza Contreras, Cheyanne Mcclaren and Mekhya Hutchinson also highlighted cultural perceptions of hetero-normative family roles, the impact of homophobia and transphobia in religion, queer contemporary and historical figures of color, and the mainstreaming of toxic heterosexist language in school cultures.  The interactive sessions were part of annual school-wide Women’s Day activities at King-Drew Magnet that take place during all class periods and are mandatory for students and faculty. Approximately one hundred fifty students participated in WLP’s sessions.