Introducing YOUTH VOICE

By Kelly Mulrooney

Greetings, all voracious readers of youth (youthlings?)! My name is Kelly Mulrooney, and I have been entrusted with the great honor and pleasure of writing for YOUTH. YOUTH VOICE will focus on unjust and discriminatory societal norms, phunky social activism, “how-to’s” on stopping the cycle of oppression, acknowledging the perpetuation of it, and much more :). Many of you are probably wondering right now why this matters and how these disputed and precarious issues fit into YOUTH. Most, if not all, social justice issues affect everyone, directly or indirectly. They may distress your subconscious or even combat your morality--who knows? As the up-and-coming generation--the youth--we have the power to evoke change for equality and tolerance. This column is not only an ongoing discussion (please feel empowered to comment, disagree or inquire), but an outlet for those who feel they’re repressed for any and all reasons.

It only feels right to give you a sense of who I am as a human being and how I go about existing in this world. I first became acquainted with social activism and what it feels like and what it means to have the dissenting opinion at a young age. My mom is very involved with LGBTQIA+ rights. Her brother is gay, so I’ve been fortunate enough to have been exposed to my uncles' pride and my mom’s work as an ally. As I have grown into myself and discovered what it means to me to advocate for equal rights, I have developed my sense of being a feminist and an unapologetically badass one. It is moving and gratifying to be an active ally, but it is an exceedingly marvelous and different type of rapture to be able to fight for yourself.

Currently my two friends (Reilly Jones and Coleman Evans) and I are in the process of creating a gay/straight alliance at our school. This process has been inching forward and gaining support for about twelve years. I feel it’s so important for not only my school, but for all schools to have accepting environments--environments in which the school sends the message that everyone is seen. So often LGBTQIA+ kids are forced to suppress their identity and put on a facade to conform to heteronormative schools. As students it is vital we don’t tolerate parochialism and bigotry and that we send the message of acceptance. It can sometimes be arduous and unpopular, but it is always rewarding and crucial to combat any sort of injustice whether it concern sexual orientation, gender orientation, race, family structure, ability, socio-economic status, age or religion.

at a religiously based peace vigil uptown in memorial of Deah Barakat, Yusor Abu-Salha and Razan Abu-Salha 

at the protest honoring Mike Brown in an effort to bring awareness of police violence and the dangers of racial profiling 

1 comment:

  1. Kelly, thank you for telling me about your blog. Not only am I really pleased to see that you are a talented writer, but I am really proud of you for choosing issues that are of such vital importance to our society. You use the expression 'inching forward' to describe the progress our school has made regarding a potential GSA. That expression can be used to describe the progress our country has made in other important areas as well, which is no doubt immensely frustrating (to say the least) to many people. But promoting and engaging in intelligent discourse (particularly, as you mention, among young people such as yourself) is crucial to moving forward and affecting meaningful change. You ARE a badass- keep up the good work! Enjoy Greece, as well as the rest of the summer, and I'll see you when we get back to campus in August. Oh and GOOD LUCK for your meeting with the board- show 'em what you're made of!

    Sr./ Monsieur S.