YouTube was awarded a 2015 “Respect Award” this year by GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) and Google welcomed their Student Advocate of the Year, Mars Hallman, and YouTube Star and activist ElloSteph for a discussion on the role YouTube has played in the current LGBTQ culture.
More info on the speakers:
Mars Hallman is a senior at Berrien High School. Sixteen years of living queer in the Deep South has taught them a lot about activism and their own gender identity.
In their junior year, Mars founded the region’s first Gay-Straight Alliance. As the only non-binary member, they made sure to create a safe space for students of all gender identities and orientations while also educating other members about transgender issues and history. Although forty religious leaders in the community put a great deal of intimidating pressure on Mars and the GSA by gathering 1,800 signatures from community members in opposition to the formation of the GSA. Mars and the GSA persevered and created a crucial safe space.
This year, Mars and the GSA will campaign to add freedom of gender expression to their school’s anti-bullying policy and add a gender-neutral restroom to ensure the safety of trans and gender-nonconforming students.
Sixteen years has brought Mars many supporters and allies, and they hope to bring the same love and kindness to LGBTQ youth everywhere.
Stephanie Frosch is a renowned YouTube personality, educator, and LGBTQ+ activist. Only at the young age of 21, Stephanie Frosch has earned a well-known and respected reputation in both the entertainment industry as well as the LGBTQ+ community. She is a content creator who runs the popular YouTube channel, ElloSteph, where she writes, films, and edits all of her content. Stephanie utilizes this platform to educate her large audience on LGBTQ+ related topics, body positivity, safe and consensual sex, self-love, and many other topics. Her videos are presented in a comedic and entertaining aspect that appeals to audiences of all ages. Her videos inspire people all over the world, pushing them to accept and love themselves. Stephanie’s work has been recognized by The Huffington Post, The Advocate, After Ellen, Google, BuzzFeed, The Trevor Project, The Human Rights Campaign, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, and many more.
Her most recent project was hosting a love and dating advice show called The Feels, which was partnered with the popular internet channel, Astronaut’s Wanted. Stephanie also has moderated the largest attended panels at the YouTube conferences known as Playlist Live. Stephanie has also toured many high schools
and universities where she presents interactive and informative workshops on topics such as gender and sexuality terminology, body image and dysmorphia, cellphone addiction, bullying, devised theatre, and more. Stephanie’s captivating personality, fun sense of humor, and tasteful manner of addressing taboo topics
makes her a role model and an inspiration to hundreds of thousands all over the world.
More about GLSEN: At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.
We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country — from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community — to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.