“Sitting in what appeared to be a second grade classroom, one of the conference’s youth organizers walked us through interactive role-playing activities to learn how we could be respectful and empowering allies to youth. Much of this involved checking our assumptions that we had to step into caretaker roles when interacting with youth, and instead practicing active listening to determine what, if anything, we needed to do to be an actual support and ally. It felt pleasantly appropriate for a room full of adult allies to spend a portion of our time at OQYS in a classroom learning all we could from these extraordinarily capable youth teachers.
My clear takeaway from this summit was that this is not where queer and trans* youth come to learn how to become engaged leaders—it is where engaged you
th leaders come to further develop their already expansive skills, build connections with their peers from across the state, and use their energy to create meaningful social change—and have some fun while they’re at it.”