Connecting • Embracing • Transforming

Elisabeth Coffey

Live Out Loud comes to our school every month and it is an experience that our students genuinely look forward to. They feel seen, understood and recognized during these visits. They learn about LGBTQ+ history, are introduced to LGBTQ+ role models, and they are invited to look deeper into their own feelings around being LGBTQ+/allies and how that identity fits into our larger school community.

Live Out Loud offers our students an opportunity for deeper learning and exploration that they would not have otherwise, and they love Marilena. She is such a wonderful influence on the students and they enjoy her presence and boundless energy. There are several students who will come to our club only when they know Live Out Loud will be presenting.

During the pandemic, when our club was virtual, Live Out Loud gave our kids something to look forward to and a way to socialize and enjoy each other in creative ways that I never would have been able to pull off. I am a cisgender heterosexual woman and even though my students know I am on their side, Live Out Loud provides them with important contact and representation from the LGBTQ+ community.

Their work with our students is invaluable and our club is so much richer for the experiences we have had with Live Out Loud. Our school is located in Staten Island and it is not the most hospitable environment for LGBTQ+ kids. Even though it is exceedingly difficult to get to our school, the fact that Live Out Loud makes the trip every month to see us because they know how much the kids love it is a testament to their commitment to our students. They are making such a big difference in their work with our kids and it is appreciated. 

Elisabeth Coffey

Social Worker

CSI High School of International Studies