This was supposed to be a celebratory post. It’s been on my list to write about the Boston Area Homeschoolers’ Queer Straight Alliance (BAHS QSA), and the HEDA Project, the new venture they’ve just launched.
The group is close to my heart for many reasons, including the fact that my own kids were among its founding members in 2011. Back then, they were excited to form what we believe was the first QSA for homeschoolers in the country. They hoped to create a safe space for queer homeschoolers and their allies, raise community awareness about LGBTQA issues, do some social justice work, and have fun.
Their successes include presenting workshops at two Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network conferences, advocating for gender neutral bathrooms at local venues, sponsoring an LGBTQA Youth Summit to connect local GSAs with each other, and hosting three proms.
They’ve been lucky enough to have the phenomenal Anna Watson as their advisor, and though they’ve faced challenges, they’ve felt a lot of love and had a lot of fun. Despite that, they are all too aware of the bullying and negativity that many LGBTQA individuals have faced and continue to face.
And then last weekend, we were all reminded that the LGBTQA community is also vulnerable to horrific violence.
So here I sit, still in shock, still grieving, writing this post that’s been on my list for more than a week, and that was supposed to be full of joy.
Then my mind comes ’round again to the kids and their overflowing ideas, their hope for the future, their fire to set things right, to make the world a kinder, more tolerant place.
With the HEDA Project, the young people in the BAHS QSA offer us one way–perhaps the most important way–to live in the face of unspeakable tragedy and hate. By sharing hopeful, positive, uplifting stories of LGBTQA youth, they choose love.
HEDA stands for Happy Endings: Deserved by All. As they put it, “We want to provide a safe, happy place for LGBT youth where our stories can be heard and told without any fear.”
The love and light they are spreading is needed now more than ever.