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Friday, August 17, 2012

7 days of Youth In Action: Equality is a European Quality

Youth in Action is continuing with intriguing events and eye-opening discussions. Let us introduce one of the Youth participating this 8 days of training. Her name is Abigail Tjhay, she is a 17 year old ambitious high school student with a lot of on her plate and many different interests. She is in the Youth Council of Delft (JouwDelft), her responsibility  is to advise Municipality of Delft regarding issues of Youth. When she is not busy with her advising  job she likes to play the guitar and sing in a youth band called “Three-eyed Monsters''. Abigail said that her dream is to study psychology. She is already making changes in her community by organizing events for the gay youth of Delft to raise awareness about the discrimination they face in their daily lives. She will do the opening for the "7 days of Youth In Action: Equality is a European Quality" and share her ideas about what the Youth is up to. 

Thursday August 16, 2012

“How do you pronounce your name?” the one and only thing I dislike about international exchanges is that you have to try and memorize names. It’s a good thing there are such things as name games, that 1) help you remind people’s names and 2) are a lot of fun.
Once we knew each other’s names (well, not all names, memorizing names and faces is a talent, not a skill), we learned about each other’s interests. It was clear that, despite our cultural differences, we had a lot in common.  Once we got past the introductions, we finally got to the good part: a workshop on sexual diversity.

A member of Global Alliance for LGBT Education, Marinus Schouten, dropped by to give a workshop about LGBT rights in societies and for education. He talked about what it means to be gay, bi or transgender and he also told us about the history of homosexuality. Then he taught us an important lesson about identity.
            “Imagine if the Prime Minister passed a law, that states that something that is a part of you, is punishable. What would you do?”
Many participants said they would try to protest or at least ask why they passed that law. Some said they would try to make a compromise with the Prime Minister and some others claimed they would cry. Marinus then asked us how this law would make us feel. Negative adjectives like angry, sad, scared and even depressed were mentioned. In short; no one should be made to feel like they have to hide who they are, as it would have a negative impact on the way they feel about themselves and the world around them.

After Marinus left, I continued the discussion on homosexual marriage with a couple of other participants. One of them told us she once heard the following phrase “Claiming that someone else’s same-sex marriage is against your religion, is like being angry with someone who’s eating a donut, because you’re on a diet.” which seems like a really good point to me. You see, your identity is nobody’s business but your own. No one should ever be allowed to pass a law that would oppress your right to be you.

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