District set to host its first GSA conference, Living OUT Loud

By Garrett Simmons

Lethbridge School District No. 51

Communications Officer

Registration for Lethbridge School District No. 51’s Gay-Straight Alliance Conference for teens, Living OUT Loud, is now open.

The conference will be held on March 22 at the Southern Alberta Ethnic Association Multicultural Centre in Lethbridge, and is free and open to all high-school-aged students in southern Alberta. 

Dr. Kristopher Wells, an Assistant Professor and iSMSS Faculty Director, Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services at the University of Alberta, and Lauren Alston, a provincial GSA co-ordinator for Alberta, a new position within the Institute for Sexual Minority Studies and Services (iSMSS) at the University of Alberta, will deliver the morning’s keynote address.

The day will also include breakout sessions at 10:15 a.m. and 12:45 p.m., with an information fair and a spoken-word performance by Emma Ladacoeur over lunch.

A panel discussion, Life After High School, featuring local LGBTQ community members, will take place from 2-3 p.m. The event will also include a breakout session for educators, Keeping Our GSAs Thriving, which will take place from 12:45-1:45 p.m.

“It’s our very first time hosting a GSA conference, and we’re very excited about it,” said Cayley King, the Counselling Co-ordinator for Lethbridge School District No. 51. “Our goal is to move our community beyond this District and this city, building connections as we go.”

To sign up, students can go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/S5YLCSH

In addition to the conference for students, the District is also hosting a parent evening session, Parenting LGBTQ Youth 101, in the Chinook High School Media Centre from 6- 7:30 p.m. 

Dr. Wells will speak for the first hour of the event, while a question-and-answer period will follow. The evening will include information on resources parents can access, what supports exist within the community, who parents can reach out to for assistance and how they can support their children.

“The purpose of the event is twofold – one portion is to serve parents with information on how they can deal with some parenting issues they might not have experienced before and secondly, parents will have an opportunity to meet each other and build a community, so they don’t have to go it alone,” said King.

In order to sign up for the free parent session, use this registration link: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/WTNDNRN

Date posted: March 7, 2017