Spotlighting a 2013 Scholarship Winner: Julia Marciano
Meet Julia Marciano, one of Live Out Loud’s 2013 Young Trailblazer Scholarship Winners.
As President of the PLAHD club (People Leading Against Homophobic Discrimination) at Amity Regional High School in Woodbridge, CT, Julia helped create school-wide curriculum focused on LGBT related health and human rights issues. And following an incident involving homophobic vandalism at her school, Julia mobilized students to protest the hateful action.
We’re proud to share Julia’s reflection on how winning the scholarship at Live Out Loud’s NYC Gala changed her life:
“Live Out Loud is an organization best known for bringing LGBTQ youth in touch with role models, teachers, and mentors. At the 2013 Young Trailblazers Gala, the importance of this mission to the Queer Community as a whole became extremely clear to me. As I spoke with different people, I saw that only mere decades ago, this world was no place to be gay. I heard stories from men who lived in the Castro during the beginning of the HIV plague that killed scores of our brothers and sisters. I spoke to people who lost their partners, their siblings, their children, and their friends. And, I certainly could not count on two hands the number of men and women I met who said that they came out late in life, only years ago, fearing societal rejection.
And yet, these are the people that pave the way for me. People like Charles Busch who deconstructed masculinity and theatre for the queer community. People like Miss Kimball, one of my teachers, who helped me to be the activist I am today. People like the dozens of famously successful queer men and women who show the world that being gay and having an important, influential career are not mutually exclusive. And certainly, those who have worked through the majority of this century with Live Out Loud to put queer role models in touch with the next generation of leaders. While I am so happy that my work has been recognized by such an amazing group of people, I believe that each person I talked to at the Gala should be given just as much credit as I have been given.
Reflecting upon the Gala itself, I am certain it will be one of my fondest memories. And, judging by the number of business cards I received Tuesday evening, the gala is surely only the beginning of my work with the LGBTQ community. Live Out Loud has helped me change my future by connecting me to leaders and allies. Anyone who attended that Gala with me will agree that Live Out Loud inspires change and excellence with their work.