Strength and unity promoted at Skyline

Jamie Ball entertained attendees with a funny comedy skit.  (Will Nacouzi)

By Will Nacouzi/The Skyline View

Jamie Ball entertained attendees with a funny comedy skit. (Will Nacouzi)


Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.

Email This Story

The day opened with breakfast at nine followed by a welcome speech by Skyline College President Dr. Stroud and a keynote presentation by speaker Belo Cipriani, who shared his experience as a gay man and how he managed to fit into society by finding common ground upon which relationships can be built.

“That’s how you build communities, by having something in common,” Cipriani said.

Skyline’s Gay-Straight Alliance held its second “Pride in Community Strength in Unity Conference” on the April 14 here at Skyline in Building 6, Room 6202.

The Gay-Straight Alliance’s objective was to empower queer individuals, help them understand themselves and the issues they struggle with in their everyday lives, and help them find the means by which they can fit into other communities besides the queer community.

Skyline College Student Body President Heidi Hanson was also present at the event in support of the queer of the community here at Skyline.

“The reason I personally support the event is because I want the people of this community to know there’s a lot of support here at Skyline,” Hanson said, “and I want them to feel accepted and feel that they can grow as a community. And also I think that it showcase Skyline to students outside of Skyline. There are a lot of high school students here and they can see that there is support here for them.”

It wasn’t only the president who personally supported the event; a few other members of the student government were present as well at the event in support of the queer community. When asked for the underlying reason that the student government chose to support the conference, Hanson said, “Skyline is a really diverse school, and I love that about this school, so we want to show that we support all different communities. And some communities don’t come to us for support, but this one did, so we want to be there to help them rise up.”

Priscilla Cortez, a former Skyline student, was also present, presenting the workshop “Queer is Personal is Political,” which was aimed at making members of the queer community understand their position within society in the United States.

“I feel that the workshop went well . . . and I know that we tackled a lot, like our identity and reaching out to into communities and even into larger issues, like immigration, the military, even the prison industry complex, but overall the objective was to give everyone a background in understanding their queer identity in the intersection of their race, gander, sexuality and in particular other struggles that queer people of color struggle with,” Cortez said.

Priscilla’s workshop was only one of six available to members of the community, students, and the queer community, which were broken into two breakout sessions. During the second breakout session, Jose Arias, a former soldier who serviced when “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was still military policy, was also present to share his experience with the queer community and the impact his enlistment has had on him as a person and as a member of the queer community.

Of special note was his comparison of his experience to those of other members of minority groups in the past and how in time he came to see his role as a member of the queer community as paving the way for members of the communities who wish to join the military in the future.

“I think that it was an overall success,” said President of the Skyline Gay-Straight Alliance Genesis Quiroz. “We didn’t have as many people as we expected, but all the people who came gave us really good feedback on the workshop and just trying to build a sense of community here and maybe some future Skyline students here.”