Students learn about LGBT rights, how to stand up against bullying

Isabel Thuesen

More than 100 students from 10 different schools all across the Los Angeles area attended the Community Leadership Day event at the Los Angeles LGBT Center on March 1.

The event was set up by the LGBT center’s Community Action Network (CAN) to celebrate Los Angeles’ LGBT Center’s 50 year anniversary, as well as to connect with LGBT students.

“I wanted to work in this program so that I could ensure that all of you have a voice, which is something that I felt I didn’t have as a young person,” speaker Mike Freeman, creator of CAN, said in the opening statement at the Renburg Theater.

Nine students from Daniel Pearl Magnet High School, ranging from ninth to 11th grade, attended the event, accompanied by the school’s social worker JoAnne Tuell and her intern counselor Allan Edwards.

Students spent the day learning about legacy, leadership and laws, such as the Trans Student Rights, which allows transgender students to change their name and pronouns on school documents. They also learned how to unite together and make a make an impact in the world, like Laverne Cox, a transgender actress.

“My favorite part was learning about (the various) laws (that protect LGBT students),” junior Mia Garcia said.

Additionally, program leaders informed students about substance misuse versus substance abuse as LGBT people struggle with high rates of substance abuse, substance misuse and bullying.

“The most memorable part was seeing how many people were similar to us and how much variety there was in the allies and LGBT-identifying students,” Pride Club President Stephanie Pynes said.