LGBTQ youth and their allies will gather Wednesday evening at Mariachi Plaza to both celebrate Latina Mother’s Day and take a stand against homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia and all forms of violence.

The “Unconditional Love LGBTQA+ Youth Rally” organized by the Latino Equality Alliance (LEA) in association with over a dozen community organizations will also commemorate the 49 victims of last year’s violent attack at the Pulso Club in Orlando.

At the rally, community leaders are expected to call for family acceptance, unconditional love and additional youth services in the Boyle Heights area. Members of the LGBTQA Council –a LEA program– will launch an anti-bullying campaign. According to a press release, the campaign “aims to better inform students, parents, school administrators, community members and community partners about the negative health effects of bullying and provide supportive resources.”

The anti-bullying campaign “includes a school-wide anti-bullying pledge, on campus workshops and community forums throughout the school year to address all forms of bullying to generate greater acceptance for all regardless of race, faith, immigration status, gender, age, sexual orientation and/or physical appearance,” the release concludes.

Community leaders say that in light of June’s one-year anniversary of the Orlando tragedy –and with the recent increase of gun violence in Boyle Heights – mental health and social services for youth need to be increased.

The program for Wednesday’s event lists a number of speakers, including Boyle Heights youth journalist and LGBTQA+ Council member Alex Medina and his parents, Catalina and Mario Medina. Also LAUSD board member Ref Rodríguez and Muslim activist Naveed Merchant, among others.

There will be free food, raffles, resources and entertainment. The event will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. at Mariachi Plaza, 1831 East 1st Street.

Mother’s Day is celebrated on May 10 in Mexico and other Latin American countries.

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