On February 17, attorneys Dominic Campodonico and Peter Catalanotti spoke on a panel with San Francisco Superior Court Judge Linda Colfax to the Aptos Middle School in San Francisco as part of The Bar Association of San Francisco’s LGBT Youth Project. The panelists met with approximately fifteen 7th graders that are part of Aptos’ Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA).
The panelists discussed their coming-out stories, their experiences in school, and their current lawyer and judge positions. The students posed provocative questions regarding the current state of LGBTQ rights as well as the panelists’ pick for the Supreme Court nomination.
Most of the GSA students identified as LGBTQ allies, but knew of other students who were out to friends but were not part of the GSA. When asked about this, the GSA students responded that family acceptance and the personal difficulties of coming out likely prevented these students from joining the GSA. This discussion served as an important reminder of the difficulties that face LGBTQ youth even at a San Francisco middle school where there is a strong GSA student group.
The panelists enjoyed their visit and found it to be very rewarding. Following the panel, Judge Colfax stated, “I felt privileged to speak to such a poised, insightful and motivated group of kids.”
For more information about this project, email Elizabeth McGriff at email@example.com.