October 16, 2013
Trevor YAC members Shontay Richardson and Alyx Steadman inspired hundreds on October 8 at “State of Out Youth: A Town Hall,” a panel discussion with LGBT and ally youth from around the country. The event, created by The New York Times GLBT & Allies Network and hosted by Cyndi Lauper, explored the most pressing issues facing LGBT young people today.
We spoke to Shontay and Alyx about their incredible experience:
How did it feel to speak on this panel?
Alyx: I felt extremely honored to speak alongside such passionate and knowledgeable youth advocates. They all had such unique experiences to bring to the panel. Unfortunately, not every young person has the ability to share their story, so it was such a privilege to be invited to be a part of this event.
What was the most memorable part of the evening?
Shontay: For me the most memorable part was seeing how genuinely interested people were in what we were saying. They actually wanted to learn from me and hear my story. The fact that Cyndi Lauper pulled me aside to ask more questions about me being gender queer really showed that people are willing to learn, if you give us a platform.
What do you hope others learned from “State of Out Youth”?
Shontay: I hope that people in the LGBTQ community realized that we ourselves have to learn to be more accepting of each other. Also, I hope everyone realized how diverse the panel was, and how a lot of or stories were different.
Alyx: I hope people learned about deconstructing their initial perceptions about LGBT youth today… No two LGBT people share the same story, so it’s important to recognize the diversity of experiences and how each struggle can be overcome differently to create positive change and optimism for the future.
You can watch “State of Out Youth: A Town Hall” here!