LGBT youth promote equality at the AV Fair

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Ashley Moody, 16, and Mario Vasquez, 16, are members of the OUT Project.

LANCASTER – Dressed in purple Tuesday night, Antelope Valley’s gay community and its supporters hoped to send a strong message out to the public.

“We’re wearing purple to represent equality and family,” said Aaron Gomez, 21, president of the OUT Project, a youth program that provides support systems to the AV’s gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community. “The Antelope Valley Fair is about families and about different cultures, so we are here to represent because we are a part of this community too.”

“We’ve seen people shy away from things like this because they are afraid and because of the fear people bring to them,” said OUT Project member Mario Vasquez, 16. “And we’re speaking for them.”

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The LGBT community and supporters wore purple to the AV Fair Tuesday Night to celebrate equality.

The gay community and dozens of supporters donned purple to the Antelope Valley Fair Tuesday to show solidarity for “Everyone’s Family Day,” a movement created in response to the recent controversy surrounding the decision to remove rainbow-striped flags from the Antelope Valley Fair. Organizers were reportedly unaware of the connection to the gay community when they put up hundreds of rainbow flags at the Fair Grounds. But after receiving an anonymous complaint, organizers scrambled to remove the rainbow flags so as not to “offend anyone.”

“We are not trying to make a statement,” said Fair GM Dan Jacobs last week.

But they did make a statement – a negative statement to the LGBT community.

“I think it really sent a negative message to our community, especially the LGBT youth,” said Vasquez. “And it was not okay.”

The LGTB community group rallied together to appeal to the Fair’s Executive Board.

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Organizers have placed a handful of rainbow flags back at the Fair Grounds.

“We had everyone that we know just call and bombard them with messages and emails and tell them that we don’t like that they took (the flags) down based off of one person,” said OUT Project member Ashley Moody, 16. “We don’t feel that they are offensive. No one is being offended by them.”

The group received a small victory when Fair organizers agreed to a compromise to place a handful of rainbow flags back at the Fair Grounds.

Gomez says the small gesture proves that the LGBT community can and will be heard.

“We are here and we are all part of this community,” said Gomez. “We all have families, we’re students, we’re brothers, we’re sisters, we’re just like you, we’re not some sick little subculture … we are good people.”

  20 comments for “LGBT youth promote equality at the AV Fair

  1. September 2, 2011 at 4:36 am

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  2. J. Rodriguez
    August 26, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    I don’t need you to pray for me D. Drake. We also do not need you to pray because many people in the AV’s LGBT do accept the Lord Jesus Christ. So right there you need to stop assuming; because I myself am gay and I accept him. I go to Sacred Heart Catholic Church, and you know what…. They have supported me and accepted me for years; since I started going there, 13 years ago. Also, yeah we are teenagers but we are entitled to our own opinions and have our own beliefs. I think that it is really sad that us TEENAGERS have to teach you oblivious ADULTS that we are all HUMAN and we should be treated equally. And I won’t need to repent when I am older because I know what I want in life; AND I’M ONLY 16! Where were you at 16? Did you have your life planned to be and inconsiderate jerk? Oh! And did you forget that it is not VERY Christian to judge someone? Last time I checked, that was a sin. Lets look at America’s pastoral history: blacks were discriminated for how many years? Now that we all look back it we see that it was wrong. What people like you are doing to the LGBT community is no different than that; you are stripping us of our rights. And no one is teaching the AV’s youth to be gay! Where did you hear that? I do NOT see that anywhere in this article, in the comments, I haven’t even HEARD it. Oh and this is my last point: most men think women on women sex is hot. Respond now :)

  3. K. Scott
    August 25, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I am reading some of these comments and shaking me head. It is scary that we as black people are so ready to put down and shut out others for their beliefs. It was not to long ago when we were on the receiving end of this type of treatment. We must be accepting and love everyone regardless of race or beliefs. As MLK said “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    • August 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm

      Well said.

    • E.T. Smith
      August 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm

      How can you possibly compare being black to being gay? You cannot hide your skin color! You have no say in matter yet people treat you as less than. Gay people choose to live the way they do. They make the choice to turn their back on God and everything that we christians hold dear! By the same token they can make the choice to pray to him, ask for forgiveness and get back on the right path. I know this because I am living proof! I am disappointed that we have taken something as positive as this website to celebrate minority in the AV and turned it into yet another place to promote the anti-christian gay agenda. I will not be back!

      • Guy Marsh
        August 28, 2011 at 8:51 am

        Beyond the fact that both Black and LGBT peoples have traditionally been and continue to be oppressed minorities, I do not believe that any of this forum’s participants have “compare[d] being black with being gay” (though some black lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people may take issue with that). For, in the end, those of us who are burdened by the disdain of others as well as by the accompanying possibility of being harmed because of our pigmentation and/or our respective sexualities face these challenges in our own unique way irrespective of the sense of community we may feel, if any.
        With that in mind, it is also the case that LGBT peoples often face the bigotry of others devoid of the understanding, support and thus comfort of their predominantly if not exclusively heterosexual family members. On the other hand, people of color virtually always find comfort in family by virtue of the fact that the members of their families are also people of color or at least predominantly so.
        So although I do not feel as though anyone has compared their struggles to that of others, I do believe that we LGBT peoples understand the grief of others and that therein lies the possibility of unity and the eventual elimination of the sort of ignorance which leads to fear and bigotry.

        Persevere.
        Guy

        cybertariat@qnet.com

  4. K.B.E.
    August 25, 2011 at 11:11 am

    “You can please some of the people some of the time, all of the people some of the time, some of the people all of the time, but you can never please all of the people all of the time.” Live your best life possible and don’t damn anyone for their beliefs. Let God be the one and only Judge, for He alone is without sin. We all will have to account one day for our actions.

  5. Sasha Z
    August 25, 2011 at 1:30 am

    I laugh at the ignorant and hateful people who are against this.

  6. August 24, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    There is nothing I can add that will be more articulate or powerful than the young people who have responded here. I give my support to those who desire freedom and safety, for themselves and for others.
    I have never heard a homosexual say that they wish to stop others from practicing their faith. It’s always sadly ironic to me that those who pretend to follow a belief system rooted in love and acceptance practice neither.

  7. D. Drake
    August 24, 2011 at 10:28 pm

    I pray for all of you young people. Pray that you accept his lord and saviour Jesus Christ. If you would deign to read the bible or even attend any of the many good churches that the AV has to offer, you would see that what you are practicing is not a belief. You are choosing to forsake your Creator to satisfy your own pleasures. Some of you are teenagers, too young to even vote or drink, yet you proclaim that you are sexually attracted to your own kind. It is not with hatred that I express these feelings. My heart weeps for you because you cannot possibly comprehend the gravity of the decisions that you are making. I (and the majority of the AV community) will NEVER accept and agree with what you are projecting onto us. Many have kept silent in hopes of being politically correct or keeping the peace, but now this blasphemy is being accepted and promoted by our own youth. This is getting out of hand and it is time for us to take a stand. And yes, I did take a stand against what you are promoting. I voted to PROTECT the holy institution of marriage, and many others like me voted the same way. Hopefully, when you are older and wiser, you will be able to beg repentance for your actions. I will not continue to plead to your deaf ears anymore. As I said in the beginning, I will simply pray for you.

    • A. Moody
      August 24, 2011 at 11:04 pm

      Don’t pray for me Sir, for you do not know who or what I believe in. I’ve read the bible I attend Church, what I practice is my belief I practice Freedom of Speech, The Right to Practice my religious, and Make decisions as I please while abiding the law. How can I “forsake” The Creator and still be here talking to you? Would I have not been punished now? and please do not say he saves the best for last or I will find out on Judgement day because neither you or me will make it to see that day. Age is just a number, I know teenagers that’s lived their lives fuller than any 40 or 50 year old. If you can never accept something you must hate it there is no other way, You can vote how you want but just think about all those kids who just turned 18 who want gay marriage we only losted by 2% you better believe it won’t happen again.

      Remember this Mr. Drake as you are sitting here judging me for what I believe in, I am doing nothing but growing up so I can take care of you’re generation. You’re future is inability up to my generations, and I know plenty of people who couldn’t wait to treat you the same way you treat us.

  8. HMora
    August 24, 2011 at 9:11 pm

    People in their cultural bubble. It is great to believe in God; however bringing up a testament is not an excuse to taboo who I am. It is NOT ok to judge people in their race, it is NOT ok to belittle someone for their sex, it is NOT ok to look down at someone for their beliefs, and it is NOT ok to denigrate the LGBT community.

  9. D. Drake
    August 24, 2011 at 8:53 pm

    The young lady who gave me this website said that it was a forum for the minority community in the AV. I do not see this as a minority issue. Most minorities (like me) are religious and god fearing, therefore homosexuality is against everything that we believe in. My opinion might not be popular in this day and age when everyone wants to pretend that it is okay for man to lay with man and women to lay with women. But it simply isn’t okay. The Apostle Paul, stated that homosexuality “shall not inherit the kingdom of God” I do not have hatred against gays, I just feel sorry that you have made the CHOICE to live in a way that is against what the Lord intended for you. Only you will have to answer for your actions on judgment day. I am disgusted that there are adults who should know better teaching our 16 year olds that this is something to speak out about and something to be proud of. Young people should be applauded for speaking out and taking a stand, but not when that stand is against the Creator.

    • A. Moody
      August 24, 2011 at 10:00 pm

      This website is for the minorities, just because you do not like one article does not mean you have to damn the whole site. Being a minority does not make you religious, some minority are homosexual so is the majority!! You’re living in the pass this is not the generation you once knew. We are a generation of love and peace, its something that we had to take on and live are life based on after your generation screwed over the world REPEATEDLY. We don’t care who lies with who all we care is the that we have rights to do whatever we please. If you don’t like the laws passed, the action taken, then protest. You shouldn’t live in the freest country in the world, its people like you with their closed minded thinking that makes me want to join the OUTreach center. and as for God he does not judge, if they want to be gay the know exactly what they are doing. Its a thing called happiness that every American has the right to, if they find it in a man, if its against their religion or yours OH WELL!! Its not any of our business.

    • M. Vasquez
      August 24, 2011 at 10:03 pm

      D. Drake, I am disgusted at your assumptions. I am speaking out and I am taking a stand, but not against “the Creator”, but against people like you, who are judgmental and hateful. I feel sorry for you for choosing to live in bigotry and ignorance. YOUR ASSUMPTION THAT I WAS TAUGHT THIS IS WRONG. I grew up catholic, in a conservative family. I was not around gay people, the word Gay was rarely or never mentioned. In fact what began my activism was Bullying in schools and what continued it was Human Rights.

      It’s us 16 year olds who are teaching adults like you, about human rights and equally.

      Just as I fight for gay rights, I would fight for women’s rights, african american rights, religious freedom, even your rights, if you were being denied, why? Because they are all Human Rights.
      It’s people who say things like you did, above, that oppress millions of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered people everyday. Even cause 16 year olds like me, to commit suicide.

      Explain to me how oppressing someone to the point they kill themselves is okay, but being gay isn’t?
      You can’t say you don’t have hatred against gays, when you are posting such hateful words.

      I thought god taught about love and tolerance. YOU ARE NO ONE TO JUDGE.

  10. S. Parker
    August 24, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    It is a very sad day to live in the AV. As a resident for over 25 years, I have helplessly witnessed the demise of Lancaster. First came the drug addicts, then the gangs, now whole organizations are teaching young people that it is okay to turn thier backs on the lord and saviour. The end is truly near…

    • R. Benitez
      August 24, 2011 at 8:08 pm

      Helplessly witnessed the demise of Lancaster? Surely drug addicts and gangs are negative factors on a city but the fact that youth and young people are standing up for themselves is a truly commendable action!

      • August 24, 2011 at 8:20 pm

        I agree with you Robert, The AV should be more concerned for those that feel youth and young children are at the same level of drug addicts and gangs.. It’s disturbing to hear that there are human beings that feel so strongly against another person’s well being and happiness. Should we not respect diversity and the freedoms rightfully deserved to each resident in the AV??

    • Tameika Brathwaite
      August 24, 2011 at 8:28 pm

      Celebrating who you are is NOT turning your back on the lord. Bigotry and hatred turns your back on the lord. And that is exactly what you represent when you put gays in the same category as gangs and drug addicts. It is a sad day to live in the AV because of close minded bigots like you!!!

      • R. Benitez
        August 24, 2011 at 8:38 pm

        I couldn’t agree with you more Tameika!

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