Bill Foster Hosts LGBTQ Panel in Naperville

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This morning, Congressman Bill Foster led the “Faces Of Our Community: LGBTQ Awareness Panel” at the Alive Center.

“I think everyone is here to tell their story,” said Congressman Foster. “And to let the community know how much they appreciate the tolerance of the community and the challenges you have with growing up and trying to understand your identity in this very complicated world.”

He was joined by Nancy Mullen, the Executive Director of Youth Outlook, Erica Snider, a Fermi Lab Physicist, and Carolyn Wahlskog, the 360 Youth Services Senior Housing Director.

“I think having a panel like this raises the consciousness of our community, what is changing, what might be different from the way that we grew up, what are young peoples realities today, and how do we center those voices,” said Wahlskog, who is also the Community Education and Gender Programing Manager for Youth Outlook.

Around 70 people from the Naperville area attended the panel, which opened conversations of transgender awareness, and inclusion of LGBTQ youth in school, the workplace, and the community.

“Naperville in a whole has been a pretty good place, like even when I walk in Downtown Naperville I see gay couples holding hands and I’ve never seen anyone getting backlash for it, but I know it still happens. I think that if we continue moving forward no matter what town it is, no matter what state it is, we going to always have to keep pushing and keeping pushing the envelope and fighting for what we know is right and what we deserve as people,” said Isaac Miller, a Junior at Wheaton-Warrenville South High School and Youth Leader at Youth Outlook.

Miller was also a part of the panel and was joined by other high school students. Those who attended were also able to questions.

An event that’s helping to continue the conversation of LGBTQ awareness with our youth, politicians, and community.