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Former Langley student pens letter to school district in support of LGBTQ program

NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/Getty Images

A former Langley student has written a letter to the school district asking for its support of a policy intended to make LGBTQ students feel safe and welcome.

Colin McKenna, the president of the Vancouver chapter of PFLAG – a national organization founded by parents to support LGBTQ families – penned the letter, asking them to “resist the voices of hate in the community that seek to put people like [him] back in the closet.”

His letter follows recent pushback on SOGI 123 – a sexual orientation and gender identity initiative that’s intended to help school districts support LGBTQ students.

READ MORE: Langley parents to rally in support of LGBTQ support program

SOGI 123 was developed for B.C. teachers through a collaboration between the Ministry of Education, the BC Teachers’ Federation, UBC’s Faculty of Education, and multiple LGBTQ organizations.

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“Anytime there has been a push for training on inclusivity or training on diversity, there’s often pushback,” McKenna said.

But he said some of the comments that critics have made about the program and the LGBTQ community have been very hateful.

As a former Langley student, the issue hits close to home for McKenna.

WATCH: Richmond parents protest LGBTQ policy

Click to play video: 'Richmond parents protest LGBTQ policy' Richmond parents protest LGBTQ policy
Richmond parents protest LGBTQ policy – Mar 1, 2017

He hopes that SOGI 123 goes ahead as planned to “make sure that the voices of LGBTQ community in the school district and out are heard and ensure children are educated properly.”

“In the years when I was a student, there was no discussion regarding sexual orientation or gender identity. As a kid, I knew I was different, but there were no words to define me,” his letter said.

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A rally has been organized by parents in support of the policy; it’s set to take place on Tuesday.

CKNW has reached out to the Langley School District for comment.

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