Day of Dialogue speakers captivate, educate and inspire the community


Olivia Fox shares an empowering and joyful speech during the “Telling Our Stories” Assembly.

Rainbows adorned the school throughout the day.
Claire Gallion shared her journey of sexual awakening and understanding during her speech.

“Hide your husbands and wives, because I go both ways.”

Met with an eruption of thunderous applause from an audience of over 1000 people, senior Olivia Fox smiled and stepped away from the podium. Similar joyous energy echoed through the auditorium following each of the eight speeches given during the “Telling Our Stories Presentation.”

The assembly on Wednesday, April 6 was a part of the high school’s Day of Dialogue. The speakers were seniors Claire Gallion, Elliot Lazarova-Weng, Hannah Schlosberg, Oliver Slayton, Olivia Fox, Helena Andrus, English teacher Zac Broken Rope and junior Sofia Hauser.

The speakers recounted and reflected on their experiences as queer people during the 75 minute event. Gallion spoke first and opened up about her journey towards embracing her sexual orientation.

“I’m a lesbian. That’s not something I’ve always known,” Gallion said. “It’s okay to take time to figure out who you are. Life is long and love is beautiful and magical, and it can take any form.”

Throughout the speech, the audience rippled with snaps and applause in agreement.

Lazarova-Weng went next and delivered a speech detailing how he missed out on his childhood. He cited not going to the beach – one of his favorite places in the world – for four years because he tried to make others comfortable with his identity as a transgender man.

“I felt like my existence was a bother. I deemed my happiness as secondary, and the happiness of others as the priority,” Lazarova-Weng said.

Schlosberg expounded on the impact compulsory heterosexuality has had on her life, describing the pressure she felt in middle school to present herself in a stereotypically feminine manner.

“I dressed and acted in a hyperfeminine way to try to prove to everyone I was straight. I even chose one of the One Direction boys to have a crush on so I could be part of the conversation. I would base my entire appearance and personality on being appealing to men,” Schlosberg said.

Slayton began their speech remotely by stating that safety is a human right. They used their trip over the summer to the South as an example; before entering the South, their family stopped at a local Old Navy to purchase clothing that looked “less queer” for Slayton.

“Even in Brookline, my hometown, I can never truly relax or let my guard down. I experienced this very dilemma [this summer]: I had to choose between being myself and being safe. I was traveling with my brother and my mom through the South, on a two week trip,” Slayton said. “I had to pretend to be someone who I was not. I sat in my car, driving through states where using the bathroom that I wanted to was illegal. I felt scared that being myself would not only put me in danger, but also my family.”

Fox arrived at the podium next and delivered a speech infused with humor and wit. She recounted her experiences as a bisexual woman growing up in a Christian household where being queer was not accepted.

Andrus took to the stage next, explaining how as a genderqueer transgender woman, she has gotten to the point where her own identity is no longer strictly masculine or feminine.

“The binary gender that I once clung to for dear life has become obsolete,” Andrus said.

Broken Rope’s speech about his experience as a gay teenager in Nebraska had the audience gripped by every word he said. Opening up about his own mental health struggles, Broken Rope spoke with vulnerability about his experience after his community and family rejected his sexuality.

“It’s hard to exist in a place where you feel like no one wants you,” Broken Rope said.

Hauser concluded the assembly by telling a story about the pressure and discomfort she felt around her grandparents in regards to her sexuality.

The stories and experiences shared during the event emphasized the diversity within the LGBTQ+ community, making it clear that the queer community has always existed and is here to stay.

As he wrapped up his speech, Broken Rope urged the audience to value and embrace themselves as they are.

“Remember that sometimes, the bravest thing you can do is to keep on living. And to live, live, live,” Broken Rope said. “The world gets to be so beautiful, and you are too.”