Santa Cruz County LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Students
The Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County is proud to announce the 1st Annual Celebration of LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Graduates via live streaming.
June 7, 2020
Premiering after Santa Cruz Pride
The event is planned as a celebration to honor lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual (LGBTQIA+) and ally students, and to acknowledge their achievements and contributions to their campuses across Santa Cruz County. We honor our LGBTQIA+ and ally students who are graduating, and acknowledge the unique struggles many have faced on their path to graduation.
Inspiring Speeches — LGBTQIA+ 2020 Virtual Graduation Celebration
- Despite the difficult circumstances of the past school year, our local LGBTQIA+ youth are persevering, thriving, and achieving their goals. Local leaders and allies to the LGBTQIA+ community share their gratitude, advice, and hopes for our youth in these inspiring videos. We hope you join us in the spring to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ graduating class of 2021.
- Watch some of the inspiring speeches at the LGBTQIA+ 2020 Virtual Graduation Celebration!
Meet Some of the LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Class of 2020!
- To our brave and resilient graduates; we see you, we honor you and your hard work, and we are so proud of you!
- To get to know the class of 2020, we asked our LGBTQIA+ graduates a few questions
- Meet the LGBTQIA+ graduates!
- Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, California’s 18th Congressional District
- Congressmember Jimmy Panetta, California’s 20th Congressional District
- CA Assemblymember Mark Stone, 29th District
- Secretary John Laird, former CA Secretary for Natural Resources
- Dr. Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools, Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE)
- Rishi Lal, M.A, Assistant Principal, Santa Cruz High School
- Paloma Medina, author of the children’s book Looking for Marla
- Councilmember Tyller Williamson, City of Monterey
- Adam Spickler, Cabrillo College Trustee
- Dr. Lauren Esposito, Schlinger Chair of Arachnology California Academy of Sciences and Founder of 500 Queer Scientists
- Jeff Sheng, author of FEARLESS: Portraits of LGBT Student Athletes
- and many more….
- Check out additional speakers
A Message from CA Senator Anna M. Caballero
A Message from CA Assemblymember Mark Stone
A Message from CA Assemblymember Robert Rivas
2020 has been an unusual year, and I’m sure that none of you expected to be graduating virtually. In difficult times such as these it is vitally important that we continue to spread kindness, and to be gentle with one another. We can never tell what another person is going through, but we can approach them with compassion, understanding, and a willingness to come together. Because TOGETHER, we can accomplish great things, and I know that all of you can accomplish great things! Congratulations to the LGBTQIA+ class of 2020! Best of luck to you all! — Assemblymember Robert Rivas
City of Santa Cruz Mayoral Proclamation
Special thank you to Mayor Justin Cummings, Ph.D., City of Santa Cruz, for the May 26th Mayoral Proclamation honoring Pride month and the LGBTQIA+ Graduation Celebration.
As we mourn the closing of our schools and try to adjust to the constantly evolving COVID-19 situation, we want to commend all the hard work of our LGBTQIA+ students who have been out, proud, and working for safer campuses in our community, and take time to honor them as graduates.
As the country is encouraged to practice social distancing, many institutions are canceling or postponing their graduation ceremonies; this effort will honor the LGBTQIA+ students who are graduating this spring who may be impacted by these cancellations and disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.
The event will include many traditional elements of a graduation ceremony, including an official welcome from the Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools, various school superintendents and elected officials.
Tune in to “Out In Santa Cruz”
Hear from Rachel Warne, founder of the Celebration of LGBTQIA+ Graduates, and Linus Harless, Soquel High School graduate, as they discussed the upcoming celebration on the May 23 Out In Santa Cruz Radio Show. Correction: Linus Harless pronouns are They/Them/Theirs
Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County
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Sponsored, in part, by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (SCCOE) — thank you!