Both the city of Half Moon Bay and the Cabrillo Unified School District have joined a nationwide effort in recognizing October as LGBTQ History Month. 

The school distinct passed a proclamation with a unanimous decision on Sept. 12. The city passed its proclamation on Tuesday night. “The (CUSD) governing board believes that all students deserve to feel safe and welcome in their schools, to be known by their preferred name, gender identity, story, and to see themselves represented in the curricula, in our staff, and in our community,” according to a school district staff report.

The memo also suggested LGBTQ services would be incorporated into a new Facilities Master Plan, which has been untouched since 2013. 

David Oliphant, CoastPride’s treasurer, said the nonprofit approached both the district and the city last month to create a united effort. The monthlong celebration is international in scope, with observances in Canada and the United Kingdom.

“It’s exciting because it unifies our local community on the coast with what’s going on in the rest of the country,” Oliphant said. 

CoastPride will sponsor several upcoming events involving outreach and educational programs. The first is a Brews and Views presentation from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday at the Half Moon Bay Brewing Co. There, Janna Barkin, author of “He’s Always Been My Son,” will share her journey raising a transgender son. CoastPride will host an “Outlet” training at Cunha Middle School and Half Moon Bay High School  as well as a sexual orientation and gender identity and expression training for counselors, faculty and administrators.

LGBTQ youth and families will participate in the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival parade on Oct. 19, and CoastPride will be tabling near the giant pumpkin photo booth. The Half Moon Bay Library will host a 90-minute presentation from Joel Baum titled, “Gender Spectrum,” from 6 to 8 p.m. on Nov. 14. The short film will highlight the characteristics of gender- inclusive educational institutions.

There will also be a student poetry contest, with winners published in the Review. First-place winners will receive $100, and second and third place will get $50 and $25, respectively. Students must submit their poetry to Let’sTalk@coastallit.org by Oct. 25.

CoastPride is also inviting local businesses to do more than just raise the rainbow flag. Oliphant said the nonprofit is collaborating with the Half Moon Bay Coastside Chamber of Commerce and Visitors’ Bureau and the school district to create posters displayed at local businesses to promote tolerance and inclusivity. 

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