By Dean Welliver, South Kern Sol
The Third Annual LGBTQ Youth Summit hosted by the Kern County LGBTQ Youth Roundtable was held this past Saturday at Cal State Bakersfield. The summit offered middle school and high school aged LGBTQ youth a space where they could be themselves without judgement, make new friends, and learn about the resources that are in the community to support them.
“The goal of the event is to bring the LGBTQ community of Kern County together and to ensure young people who identify as being part of the community do not feel isolated,” said Gloria Garcia, lead organizer of the event and LGBT Community Worker at California Rural Legal Assistance.
To Julian Melendez, a senior at Foothill High School, the LGBTQ Youth Summit provided an opportunity for LGBTQ youth to connect to their culture.
“It gives a lot of youth a lot of information that they didn’t receive in school and this way we interact with our own gay culture we are more in tuned especially because in Bakersfield there isn’t very much pride,” said Melendez.
Melendez also noted the importance of having an event like this in Bakersfield.
“I feel like it is important having it in Bakersfield because it does much to combat the conservative nature of Kern county and I feel like it raises lots of awareness for these types of issues,” Melendez said.