Lambrick Park secondary is set to host the region’s second annual Love is Love youth pride conference on Friday.
The free conference offers a choice of five workshops and a keynote speaker and is open to students from school districts 61 and 63, and independent schools.
Organizers Caitlin Doherty and Matt Treble initiated the conference last year and are back despite graduating and spending this year at Simon Fraser University and the University of Victoria, respectively. They shared many of the duties with Lambrick’s Emma Davis, a Grade 12 student who also took over the school’s Gender Sexuality Alliance (formerly the Gay Straight Alliance) this year.
“The response was so strong last year we wanted to do it again,” Doherty said. “There was about 100 students from all over Greater Victoria and it really emphasized the need for a safe space for LGBTQ students.”
Love is Love starts at 8 a.m. with a gathering ahead of the 8:45 a.m. keynote presentation by Rev. Shana Lyngood from the First Unitarian Church of Victoria. Participants can pick from three of the five workshops throughout the day: out in schools, AIDS Vancouver Island, Saanich Parks and Rec, Alyx McAdams and Under the Rainbow.
The pizza lunch is also free followed by the 2 p.m. closing by local author Robin Stevenson, whose nonfiction Pride: Celebrating Diversity & Community, looks at how Pride came to be and what it means to the people who celebrate it.
“We had so many kids come out that we weren’t expecting last year, so this time we’re hoping for between 50 and 100, but more is great,” Treble said.
All the speakers and workshop leaders either work with youth or are with community organizations that support youth.
“We’re going for an uplifting pride-filled tone, one of inclusivity,” Davis said.
Registration is free but required ahead of time online. To register visit Facebook.com/loveisloveYPC.