An Open Letter to Students.

Dear students,

Today is the day of the Pride Parade in Vancouver. I am lucky to have so many friends who are involved in the LGBTQ community, and I am so excited for all of my LGBTQ friends who get to celebrate today. I hope that you have the absolute best time possible, and I thank you all for helping me be the open-minded person I am today. It’s tough for me to admit that I wasn’t always as open-minded as I could have been, but I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by loving people and people who were able to teach me how to be a more accepting person. I wish everyone could’ve had the amazing experiences I had and met the amazing people I have.

Students(both former and current), it’s with that in mind that I want to talk a bit about today with you. I think “Pride” is such an interesting word to use for such an occasion. It’s so strong. It invokes such strong feelings. I know that today, I am so proud of my students who identify as LGBTQ, and I hope that today, you are feeling immense pride in yourselves, and who you are.

I’m not one for soapboxing. I was going to write more. But I don’t need to. The stories of acceptance and harmony are being written every day.

As a society, we are changing, and I am so proud every day of kids who are unafraid to stand for what they believe in, who are unafraid to show their classmates who they are, and I am also proud of the students who stand beside them and support and accept everyone for who they are.

For those of you who identify as LGBTQ, it is sometimes difficult, I know that. For some of you, it is always difficult. I know that, too. You may face pressures at home, you may face pressures from kids at school, but I want you to know that, as a teacher, I am proud of you. You are the generation that is helping move our whole society forward when it comes to sexuality, and let’s face it, humanity. Because, at the end of the day, we’re all just people.

So today, and all days, I just wanted you to know: you’re kicking ass.

Keep it up.

In Rainbows,
Mr. Cullen