Recognising the need to provide Cayman’s young people with a safe and supportive environment in which to discuss any issues they may have, the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation participated in Cayman International School’s recent Back to School BBQ and Information Bonanza, holding a booth where young people could get information on how the Foundation can assist them.
The Cayman LGTBQ Foundation’s President and Founder, Noel Cayasso-Smith, confirmed the organisation was very happy to take part in the event.
“It is important for young people to know that we are here for them should they need help in LGBTQ matters. Discrimination and stigma is incredibly hurtful at any age but it cuts far more deeply with young people who are in the process of understanding who they are without the emotional maturity of an adult that is necessary to deal with that process,” he advised. “As a Foundation, we are committed to ensuring that any young person who needs our help can reach out to us.”
Mr Cayasso-Smith said that he was heartened to find parents also reaching out to the Foundation in a bid to finding out what more they could do to support their young people.
“The mission of the LGBTQ Foundation is to help people of all genders in the Cayman community by a process of education, so we were particularly pleased to work with these supportive parents,” he confirmed.
Cayman International School Director, Jim Urquhart said:
“We are very pleased that the Cayman LGBTQ Foundation attended and participated in the CIS Welcome Back BBQ & Information Bazaar. Their message of achieving equality is a great message for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the Cayman Islands and beyond. This message certainly also speaks to our school’s community principles of kindness, partnership, sustainability, and good intent. We look forward to an ongoing partnership in support and understanding of diversity, equity, inclusion and justice.”
Mr Cayasso-Smith said he was especially grateful to Cayman International School for the support it had shown the Foundation and that the school had recognised the fact that young people needed support in LGBTQ matters.
“The staff at CIS have shown great sensitivity and empathy for their students in inviting us into the school and it gives us hope that more educators will show the same understanding in the future,” he said. “Young people are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and we want them to know we are here for them, whenever they may need us.”