I was new to municipal government but I was passionate about helping youth create change. One day the youth came into our meeting angry and frustrated. There was a government Bill called “Bill 10” that people were trying to pass and it stated that any youth in Alberta who wanted to have a GSA (Gay Straight Alliance or Gender & Sexuality Alliance) could be denied by their school.
These clubs have statistically proven to create tolerance and decrease bullying and suicide. The youth felt that it was not fair that these decisions were being made without the input of youth when it directly affects them and their peers.
I encouraged the youth to stand before the City Council as a delegation and ask for their support in amending the Bill.
After a great deal of preparation four of the youth bravely got up in front of the committee and identify as Transgender, Bi-sexual, Homosexual and Heterosexual youth. Their presentation was incredibly inspiring and left the adults in the room speechless.
Three days later, after youth across the province banned together to speak out, Bill 10 was amended. It was the first time since becoming an ally at age 18 that I actually saw youth speak out and effectively be heard.
This is part one of their story.