Sunday, June 5, 2011

Mayor's Garden Party for LGBT Heritage Month

We were lucky enough to attend the Mayor's garden party and dance and meet more exciting people in the community. It's been a big weekend!

Looking forward to attending the 5th Annual LGBT Youth Awards on Tuesday night over at LifeWorks. Got to see my friends Sofia and Milton at the party too!

First Los Angeles LGBT Heritage Month Celebration

With Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa at the reception.

Reading my poem at the outside celebration.

You can see a video of the City Council ceremony - I'm called up to the podium around 35 minutes in. The whole ceremony was very exciting - just listen to my school mates from Downtown Magnets High School cheering!

Los Angeles City Council - June 3, 2011

Just Be Yourself, by Elliott Sitz

Stop denying your emotions.
Get out the closet and your shell.
Are you the definition of lies,
Or just living in a personal hell?

It takes a lot of sacrifices, integrity,
And courage to be true,
Not just to Yourself but in
The actions you decide to do.

Don’t be intimidated or ashamed of
What you want to be.
Find the key to your identity
And let yourself be purely free.

There’s nothing sick, or broken, or taboo
About me being gay.
As Singer Lady Gaga says,

I think individuals scared of differences
haven’t come to the sense of who they are.
To think of how to be normal and bully people
won’t get you very far.

Don’t use the word normal
If you hang around me.
Just be yourself and
I guarantee, you will live happily.

If someone says, “You’re weird!”
You’re doing something right.
You are bright and upright, too, Despite
It’s not worth a fight.

You can’t make yourself big
By making someone else small.
In this Brawl, the bigger you are
The harder you fall.

A boy can act like a girl
And a girl can act like a boy.
Who cares?
Whatever you enjoy!

Don’t worry if anyone calls you
A derogatory name.
Don’t give it another thought.
You’re not to blame – they’re being lame.
They will always lose to their idiotic game.

They’re all the same. You won’t be tamed.
You’re on the road to fame!

Use you cranium,
Don’t pick on anyone.
Face Reality and study the fact that
There are other ways to have fun
Than trying to stun us with hate
That is too, too overdone.

If you pick on someone
It will sink your reputation.
Your Radiation of hate is a continuation
Of someone’s Termination.
Just stop and take a small Vacation.

Remember you are who you are
No one can take that away from you.
It’s not always easy but
Sooner or later you’ll see it through.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

LA Pride Awards Brunch - Saturday June 4, 2011

My family and I were invited to attend the Christoper Street West (CSW) LA Pride Awards brunch Saturday where I accepted the Outstanding Youth Award for the GSA Network. I've been an active member of the GSA for several years in middle schools and now high school so it was an honor to accept the award for the organization.

I got to meet most of the honorees and lots of other people (you can see some of them in the gallery). I was really lucky to meet Margaret Cho! I also got interviewed for the CSW archives and everyone took lots of pictures together.

Here is the acceptance speech I gave. It went over really well.

I’m happy to be able to accept this award for the GSA Network!

The GSA has made a difference in my life and in 3 of the schools I’ve attended.

In 7th grade I started the first GSA at Thomas Star King Middle School where I was the target of bullying and threats - this was during the fall of 2008 during the Proposition 8 campaign.

I came out to the whole school by reading my poem “Just be Yourself” on stage at the Poetry Slam and won first place.

Starting the GSA was a way to make the whole school safer for everyone

In 8th grade I moved to Bancroft Middle School - Performing Arts Magnet in Hollywood and founded a GSA there

We marched in last year ‘s LA Pride Parade - the only GSA middle school to attend.

I’m now in 9th grade, my first year at the Downtown Magnets High School where the GSA was already going strong.

Downtown Magnets’ Principal Brandon Cohen and GSA President Monica De Haro are being honored this Tuesday at the 5th annual LGBT Youth Awards for their exceptional work.

This summer I’m attending my 2nd GSA activist camp at USC where we get to meet kids from all over the state.

At first I thought I was the only one who was gay.

Then I thought I was just part of a small group of young people.

But now I’m realizing that I’m part of a large community with an amazing history.

It’s been great to see all the support we’re getting from older people and to learn our history first hand from people who were there.

I hope that we can live up to the faith you’ve placed in us.

Thank you so much!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Reading "Just Be Yourself" at City Hall, Friday June 3, 2011

Here's the video of my poem at the City Hall ceremony for the start of the first LGBT heritage month.

Lance Black, the Academy Award winner for the film "Milk" introduced me and Alec Mapa was the MC.

Thanks to all the students from Downtown Magnet, Thomas Star King, and Miguel Contreras who came out to support the event!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Elliott as Lady Gaga - Halloween 2009

I dressed as Lady Gaga for Halloween back in the 8th grade and went to school this way. My principal (Bancroft Middle School in Hollywood) said I was the "bravest kid in the school." It was a long day in the platform boots but it was worth it! We got up early that Friday morning and my mom helped me get into made-up and dressed. My dad drove me to the school bus and we enjoyed the reaction of some of the parents waiting there (one didn't even know who Lady Gaga was!).

That Sunday was the annual West Hollywood Halloween parade and I wanted to go (my first) so my dad dressed as Lady Gaga's bodyguard and off we went. Lady Gaga has had many "looks" since 2009 but this one I was in love with.

It was a long evening but it was very exciting to meet so many people and other fans. After my dad put together the video we got lots of amazing comments and some blogs posted about it.