One of our pillars here at Airdrie Pride Society is Youth Empowerment. Because we recognize how difficult it can be to be different as a teen and young adult, we want Airdrie’s LGBTQ2+ youth to feel a sense of belonging and support as much as anyone else in our community regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity.
As a result, we’ve been quite active lately visiting with Airdrie’s high schools, we’ve helped with a movie night, and we even flipped Pancakes for Pansexuals to raise money for Camp FyreFly. In the past we shared our stance on GSAs, we’ve gone one step further and are now facilitating a community-wide GSA type gathering for Airdrie’s youth to fill the gap for any schools who don’t have such gatherings or clubs and to meet LGBTQ2+ friends from other schools who do.
In partnership with Community Links, we hosted our first such event on December 29th, 2017. Despite the temperatures hovering around -30, we had a great turn out with youth representing each of the Airdrie public high schools in attendance. We took some time to warm up figuratively and literally with some introductions and conversation and dove into the business of naming our group.
There was some concern with using the GSA acronym as the word alliance felt divisive to some, while others felt that it did not include gender identity, and some youth felt that it was a hot button topic with some parents and they would prefer a less obvious acronym. We brainstormed ideas around a white board and then voted on the name we liked the most. Drum roll, our group is now called Airdrie PRYSM (PRide Youth Social Movement).
We then went on to brainstorm what the youth would like to see happen at our meetings in the future. We feel strongly that youth initiatives need their direction and input to come directly from the teens and young adults in our city. They came up with some great ideas for socializing as well as creating awareness and change where we live.
What will PRYSM do together?
We have started an email list for sending out information for our next events and we will as always keep everyone posted through social media too.
We are looking forward to an active and empowering year ahead with our very own Airdrie PRYSM.