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 3rd Annual Celebration of LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Graduates taking place directly before the 2023 Queer Youth Leadership Awards.
May 13, 2023
Prior to QYLA on the Same Day
New Brighton Middle School, Capitola
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Call for LGBTQIA+ high school, junior high school, and middle school graduates! Students graduating can sign up to be part of the 3rd Annual Celebration of LGBTQIA+ High School, Junior High, and Middle School Students and secure their Rainbow, Bi, Pansexual, Non-binary, or Trans Tassels, a Santa Cruz County tradition.
The Safe Schools Project of Santa Cruz County is proud to announce the 3rd annual graduation ceremony to honor LGBTQIA+ high school, junior high, and middle school students. Through this LGBTQIA+ graduation, we wish to acknowledge the amazing achievements and contributions many students have made towards their campuses across Santa Cruz County. We are honored to continue this celebration and commencement of LGBTQIA+ and allied students who are graduating and acknowledge the unique struggles many have faced on their path to graduation. We encourage all graduating students to register and participate in this meaningful event.
Queer Youth Positivity
The 2023 LGBTQIA+ Graduation Planning Committee has designated “Queer Youth Positivity” as the theme for the 3rd Annual Celebration of LGBTQIA+ Graduates.
These recent times have shown us that it is still not safe for the LGTBQIA+ community, especially with the recent legislation that has been passed all around the country involving our queer and trans youth. But in times like these, we need to band together as a community and show the world the joy and the love we have. “Queer Youth Positivity” means showing the positive and joyous aspects of being queer. Finding yourself at a young age is a very daunting task. But with other queer youth and a community behind you, we can find happiness and positivity in the world around us.
Strength in Community
We all know the importance of joining hands and coming together as a community to lift each other up. Unity teaches us that community support and togetherness are vital to the lives, wellbeing, and health of LGBTQIA+ students and people. Throughout the pandemic, when many social issues have been exacerbated, we have discovered that together, we are stronger. Thus, we believe there is strength in unity.
Meet the 2023 Student Planning Committee
- Izzy Brandon
- Pronouns: she/they
- Student, Pajaro Valley High School, Class of 2025
- Hi I’m Izzy and I’m a sophomore at Pajaro Valley High School. I am passionate about creating a safe and diverse community in my hometown of Watsonville. In my spare time, I like to go to play soccer and listen to Beyoncé.
- Brian Hanaway
- Pronouns: he/him
- Student, UCSC, Class of 2023
- I currently attend the University of California, Santa Cruz and am in my senior year of college, majoring in Intensive Psychology. My dream is to go into social work, so that I can help other queer kids in the ways I wish I had been helped when I was younger. My favorite things to do include going to the beach and music festivals, and procrastinating my studying by watching old cartoons like The Amazing World of Gumball.
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!