It’s the beginning of a new school year, providing momentum for many to start thinking about how to support young people in creating safe and inclusive schools for all students. As part of an ongoing grassroots project, Live Out Loud is asking out, successful lesbian, gay, bi, and trans adults everywhere to join the Homecoming Project.
The Homecoming Project allows LGBT adults to revisit their high school to share their experience and serve as role models for students in their communities. Notable gay and lesbian advocates have joined the project including Oscar Award winner Dustin Lance Black, actress Cherry Jones, and former GLAAD president Neil Giuliano.
Watch the video of Dustin Lance Black’s visit to his high school in Salinas, Calif., and the power of sharing his story:
Former GLAAD president, Neil Giuliano speaks with students at his high school in Bloomfield, New Jersey:
One student reflected on hearing Neil’s story by saying, “I just loved the fact that Neil brought everyone together in the same room for a single purpose which is fighting for the rights of everybody, which again, I thought was just amazing.”
Leo Preziosi, Jr., founder and executive director of Live Out Loud, told the School Library Journal, “Our goal is to create a support system for youth by presenting positive role models whose experiences serve as examples of success.” Thus far, the Homecoming Project has reached thousands of students in states across the US. Adults from a variety of careers and backgrounds are invited to join in this project and share their stories with their own alma mater.
In an interview with Windy City Times, Neil Giuliano urged others to participate in the project, emphasizing it’s not about being famous, “No one knew who I was before I got there, other than I had graduated from the school. We all have a story to share, and the more we share them, the more we can change hearts and minds and have an influence for good. “
When asked what he would tell others who aren’t sure if they should participate, Neil said, “Do it. You’ll have a great impact on the young people, and the staff and feel great about the experience.”
GLAAD applauds adults everywhere who are working to amplify their voices for equality, stepping up to share their story and serving as role models for young people in their own back yards. Find more information on how to participate at Live Out Loud.