City of St. Albert invited Outloud, along with many other groups, to be a part of the Unity project. The idea is to show how we are all connected through intersecting pieces of our lives. The simple poles have designs of each group and we were able to connect our lives to others through this system of poles. Truly amazing to see how we are all so close together in a world that sometimes seems so far apart. The reaction from the youth was mixed. Some thought the project was great and loved the memories that were associated with other groups from their past. Some youth had the opposite reaction when remembering how they were treated by certain groups or people within those groups.
One of the huge common themes tonight was how many kids were grateful that school is almost over. The persecution that some of our youth receive is staggering in 2017. We have been moving to a more inclusive society in the past several years but many people are still persecuted, shunned, or bullied because they are different. We try to empower the youth to be more resilient and self-confident. If you have any experience with bullying or bigotry, you know how one situation can rip your self esteem away instantly. I am sad to say that many kids go through that everyday and all we can do is encourage and promote. The hate still exists but we will stifle it every single chance we get.
The Questions from the App portion focused a lot on polyamorous talk and what that actually means. Is it legal? Is it right? Who is Poly and why is that? These questions stem from youth trying to discover what they truly are and what is their way to love. At Outloud we don’t judge or recommend, we just allow talk and bring in experts when the need arises. I think between the Poly discussion and the self harm conversation we will have a new expert coming to educate us in the next few weeks. Thanks to our youth leaders for running the meeting, excellent work and I am proud of you all.