I went back to my high school today, to meet with the principal and my co-facilitator on getting started with this year’s Pizza Klatch meetings. Â Pizza Klatch is a local organization dedicated to supporting high school students of a queerish or questioning sexual identity, and their allies:
Pizza Klatch offers facilitated support for GLBTQ youth and their allies.Â The support is offered during high school lunch periods, with free pizza, to provide a convenient and safe forum for the discussion of topics important to these youths.
I’ve been looking for a way to get involved with youth, especially at my alma mater, since I saw their GSA group in this year’s Pride Parade. Â Now, after several months and a lot of email conversations and a few meetings, I’m looking forward to co-facilitating my first meeting on November 23rd.
I’m really excited about participating in the program. Â I’m also a little nervous, and feeling lucky that I’m co-facilitating with someone who’s been with the program for a while. Â I’m really hoping I can make a positive contribution, hoping that this will be as good for the kids as it will be for me. Â One of the pay-offs for me is a chance to help make high school a better experience for these kids, and be a visible example of queer adulthood — something that was sorely lacking when I attended. Â It’s not all fun and games and pizza, some of these kids are seriously hurting for adult support and the high school has already sent a couple of kids to get professional help because of cutting. Â Cutting is on the rise, anxiety is high and every day it seems like there’s another report of some kid committing suicide over bullying.
I have no illusions that I can make all the bad stuff go away just by being there once a week. Â All I can hope is to provide a reminder that it is possible to survive high school, that a person can live through bullying and become a healthy adult member of society. Â I can’t do the work for them, I can’t get them throughÂ awkwardÂ moments with friends and family, I can’t be there when some jerk is taunting them or worse, but I hope I can show them what survival can look like.
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