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New York holds its first LGBTQ+ student summit

New York schools come together in solidarity for LGBTQ+ summit. Source: shutterstock.com

Students, educators and public figures in New York came together in solidarity earlier this week for the city’s first-ever LGBTQ+ student summit, held following a turbulent year for the community.

The local Department of Education sponsored the event, called the Gender and Sexuality Alliance summit, at Stuyvesant High School on Monday.

Some 630 people were in attendance, including high profile speakers from the LGBTQ+ community such as the openly gay former professional football player Wade Davis, according to Huffington Post.

LGBTQ+ students recently saw rights established under the Obama administration revoked by the Trump government, including transgender discrimination not being included under Title IX – the federal law that deals with sex discrimination.

The summit was organized by the city school district’s first LGBTQ community liaison, Jared Fox.

Students were reportedly invited to workshops offering advice on interacting with police, body image, grassroots organizing, and consent in sexual encounters.

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Classrooms were also named after LBGTQ icons, like author James Baldwin and tennis player Billie Jean King. A school hangout spot became a coffee shop named after feminist writer and civil rights activist Audre Lorde.

Students had the chance to speak with police officers and athletes about their experience of being gay in their profession, and find solidarity in celebrating their sexuality with each other.

The afternoon’s events topped off with a drag queen story hour, dance party, and appearance by New York’s first lady, Chirlane McCray.

“The number of young people who felt inspired and adults who never could have imagined something like this happening in their lifetimes was amazing,” Fox said

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