More than 25 members of gay-straight alliances in Windsor-Essex were in Toronto this weekend for OUTShine, Canada’s first national GSA summit.
Students, teachers and friends made the trip, thanks in part to funds provided by the Windsor Pride Community Education and Resource Centre and the Run For Rocky.
The inaugural Run For Rocky, held in memory of Rocky Campana, raised $40,000 to support gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth in Windsor-Essex.
The contingent from Windsor-Essex was the largest delegation outside the GTA to attend OUTShine.
"The fact that we have so many students attending from the Windsor-Essex area for this history-making inaugural event is exciting," Rocky Campana's mother, Nancy Campana, said in a media release.
Her son Rocky, who was gay, attempted to end his life last August. He eventually had to be taken off life support and died as a result.
"This is the beginning of our young Windsor leaders standing up for LGBT issues and letting Canada know Windsor is helping lead the way," Campana said. "We are proud Windsor is taking such a significant role in this movement."
Students from Western, Forster, Walkerville, Sandwich, Herman, Riverside, Massey, Tecumseh Vista and St. Thomas of Villanova high schools went to Toronto.
OUTShine was a gathering of youth and educators from across Canada, with a focus on promoting safer and more inclusive schools for everyone, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, two-spirit, queer, and questioning students.
Students participated in workshops and discussion groups.
The summit is scheduled to happen every other year.