An Update on the 24th Annual Queer Youth Leadership Awards
As we approach the one year anniversary of our county’s shelter-in-place order, we’d like to reflect on all that the past year has brought us. The pandemic, fires, and political upheaval have left us collectively feeling pain, grief, loss, isolation, fear, and uncertainty. But the past year has also brought us together in ways we never imagined possible.
Together, we have also felt hope, love, and even joy. We have a new administration that has promised to protect and strengthen the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, we have vaccinated tens of thousands of people in Santa Cruz County, and already we can see new growth rising from the ashes in our forests. We want to thank all of the activists, health care workers, and first responders who have helped us rebuild our community, and we hold in appreciation our essential workers like our grocers, teachers, and agricultural workers who kept us fed and guided our young people through the most tumultuous year they’ve ever known. You are all heroes.
To continue to promote the wellness of our community, the Queer Youth Leadership Awards is going virtual again for our 24th annual awards show on May 8th, 2021. We hope you will join us to honor our LGBTQIA+ and ally leaders and to celebrate how far we’ve come.
This year, to honor the bonds we’ve made and the joy we’ve managed over the past year of shelter-in-place, The Queer and Trans Youth Council of Santa Cruz County chose the theme “Celebrating Queer Joy Outside the Local Universe.” Along with this theme statement, the councilmembers would like to share with you their inspiration for this theme:
“In choosing this theme we wanted to compare the struggles of being in the shelter-in-place to the isolated nature of drifting alone in space. While we felt a disconnect from our reality, isolation has also given us time to reflect on ourselves more. Having this time away from in-person connection has inspired some of our generation to speak up on social media for ourselves and others in the queer community, creating new bonds broader than our local universe. Expanding our horizons has allowed us to find joy in new places. Queer joy is important to acknowledge and celebrate because it is not often represented in the mainstream.”
There will be a time for us to join together in
person again soon, but now, when we are so close to the light at the end
of the tunnel, is not the time. We hope you will join us again this
year for our virtual awards show as together we celebrate hope,
resilience, and joy.
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