Friday, March 13, 2009

EVENT: Youth Today, Walking for Equality


Five hundred high school students are getting ready to march.

Designed to show support for same-sex marriage and raise awareness about homophobia, discrimination, abuse, and forced homelessness of queer youth, Youth Today: Walking for Equality will be a 1.6 mile march through downtown Los Angeles that ends at a rally in front of City Hall.

Organizers of the event – high school students themselves – got the idea when they saw that their voices were being excluded from the countless demonstrations that followed the passage of Proposition 8, the November ballot measure that stripped gays and lesbians of their right to marry.

“I really want to show the community that young people not only care and are affected by issues such as racism, homophobia/transphobia and healthcare, but they want their voices to be heard,” said Ariel Bustamente-Lupton, 16, one of the organizers of Youth Today. “This is about our nation’s future being proactive in the present.”

While Proposition 8 was the genesis of the demonstration, organizers are making sure to bring attention to other LGBTQ issues as well.

“Queer youth still are being thrown out of their house and forced on the streets to a life of substance abuse and survival sex, coupled with high rates of suicide,” said Dahlia Ferlito, an adult advisor for the event. “We want the state to know that this still exists.”

Youth Today: Walking for Equality begins at College & Spring Street on Sunday, March 22 at noon and will conclude with a rally at City Hall.

Rally speakers include Robin Tyler (original plaintiff in court case that legalized same-sex marriage in California), Cleve Jones, Robin McGehee (GSA Network), Torie Osborn (Liberty Hill Foundation/National Gay & Lesbian Task Force), Bamby Salcedo (transgender youth project coordinator) and Michael Ferrera (Lifeworks Mentoring).

For more information, visit the Facebook event page.


Youth+Today Event flyer

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