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Home » Activism, Events, Newsworthy

Looking Back on Lobby Day 2011

Submitted by on Thursday, 21 April 2011No Comment

On Sunday, March 6th, 11 youth, accompanied by two volunteers, made their way down to Austin to participate in Lobby Day 2011. Their goal was to talk with as many legislators as possible about the anti-bullying bill called Asher’s Law and the Education Works bill, which promotes LGBT-inclusive sex education in schools. Three youth recorded their experiences, not only while “on the job,” but also while “out and about” in the city of Austin.

While the ride down to Austin was a little cramped for some, there was an overall feeling of excitement throughout, and when they arrived at Out Youth Austin, they had a great time getting to know everyone down there. Once they reached the hotel, it was only a matter of time before everyone passed out for the night.

Monday brought with it a brief training session, to make sure that everyone understood how to talk and interact with the legislators, then it was off to the Capitol Building to promote Asher’s Law. The youth were glad to find that many of the people they talked with were very friendly, and appeared to care about what they had to say, though they weren’t surprised when a few were less than welcoming. The highlight of the day was the chance to speak before the Texas Board of Education, which everyone agreed was an amazing experience. Their first day’s work done, the youth went and had a delicious barbecue dinner, and one youth had an enlightening discussion with a talking cow’s head.

The first order of business for Tuesday was packing everything up so that they were ready to go. Then it was back to the Capitol, where the topic of the day was the Education Works bill. The youth all agreed that LGBT-inclusive sex education was necessary in schools, and they did their best to convince legislators. The car ride home was relatively quiet, as the long day had left many youth ready to nap, at least until they stopped for dinner.

The youth who kept a record of their thoughts all spoke at some length about how they felt the trip was not only “a blast,” but it also “made an impact,” because many of them have been bullied, or know friends and other youth who have been bullied. They were all grateful to have been a part of the experience and really hoped that they “had made a difference” during Lobby Day 2011.

My thanks to the three youth who contributed to this article, as well as the volunteers who chaperoned, for providing me with the necessary information to create an overall record of their experiences.

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