Posted by Eujean Do, Nicholas Chung, Emily Liang, Kathy Liang, Hua Wei, and Vivian Wu
On February 9, 2019, YAC members attended the 2nd annual Symbiosis, a conference in Fremont for LGBTQ+ youth and allies to uplift the LGBTQ+ community. Their theme was “TBH…,” letting youth to speak their truths and find community in a safe space. The event was filled with inspirational workshops, displays of artistic talent, and delightful treats of free boba!
We were able to decide from a number of workshops to attend which were put together by members of our community. Workshops included topics such as ‘Healthy Relationships’, ‘Creative Minds’, ‘Dating Outside Your Race or Religion’, and much more. During the third round of workshops, YAC members held our own workshop, and a few of our members presented ‘Love Without Walls: Stigma and Stereotypes of LGBTQ+ People’.
In our workshop, we hosted a youth-only discussion space to examine the positive and negative impacts of media and institutions on LGBTQ+ community. Additionally, we shared our hopes for the future. Youth were engaged as we opened conversations about how the movies we watch and schools we enter respect and/or dishonor the LGBTQ+ community. We reached a better understanding about what we were comfortable with in society.
Symbiosis offered some workshops to “youth only,” because the event understood the importance for youth ages 12-24 years old to learn and converse in spaces that are meant for them. In our workshop, we had a mixture of middle schoolers and high schoolers. This workshop was new to our presenters because it was the first time we’ve ever presented at Symbiosis! YAC is extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to educate youth in Fremont about LGBTQ+ representation, institutionalized oppression, and social norms.
In the very end, we were in for a treat! The One and Only Rexy performed a drag performance to empowering songs, such as Fight Song by Rachel Platten. Her performance united all of us together to jam out and celebrate the LGBTQ community. Symbiosis 2019 ended with loud cheers and beautiful rainbows for our LGBTQ+ community!