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High school clubs to host community forum on anti-LGBTQ hate today 

Student-led forum takes place after hate crime as well as National Coming Out Day

Paso Robles High School students will be hosting a community forum about standing up to hate and creating safe spaces in a high school setting. The forum, entitled “Coming Out Against Hate,” takes place from Wednesday, Oct. 20 from 6-8 p.m. in the Performing Arts Center of Paso Robles High School. Students, teachers, parents, allies, friends, news media, and community members are invited to attend.

This student-led forum takes place after an anti-LGBTQ hate crime at PRHS as well as National Coming Out Day, Oct. 11. In late September, a Tik Tok video was widely circulated involving a local student defecating on a pride flag. This forum seeks to unite in condemnation of anti-LGBTQ bigotry, and to provide a safe space where LGBTQ students and their allies can share their experiences and visions for a more welcoming, inclusive educational environment. This is the first forum of its kind in Paso Robles.

For the forum, students will share their stories and a short film will be shown featuring LGBTQ students talking about the challenges of high school. There will be a Q&A following their stories.

“When you are a high school student in the LGBTQ community, you walk into every classroom and school bathroom not knowing if you’ve entered a safe space,” says Danny Perez, one of the featured speakers. “You endure angry stares and assaults of microaggressions that cut away at your self confidence. It is exhausting.”

“We hope to educate the community about the reality of LGBTQ youth,” says Eve Barajas, president of the PRHS Equality Club. “We are here, and it is time for our voices to be heard.”

The event is sponsored by the PRHS Equality Club, A.C.T. Club, J.O.O.I. Club, BSU, NOSB, MEChA, and the Associated Student Body of PRHS.

For more information contact Geoffrey Land, PRHS Teacher, gdland@pasoschools.org.

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The news staff of the Paso Robles Daily News wrote or edited this story from local contributors and press releases. The news staff can be reached at info@pasoroblesdailynews.com.