The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission has selected Cox High School GSA advisor Victoria Milosevich as a recipient of one of their annual Human Rights Awards. Milosevich will be honored along with other recipients at the HRC’s 23rd Annual Human Rights Dinner on April 6.
Milosevich, a teacher at Cox High School and volunteer student advisor to the school’s Gay-Straight Alliance, found herself and the organization at the center of controversy last December when a planned student assembly highlighting the GSA was abruptly canceled. The cancellation came after a Virginia Beach School Board member objected to the event taking place during school hours.
The incident gained national attention and even sparked a Virginia ACLU investigation into the matter.
Milosevich and the GSA members pushed forward and resurrected the event as “Love is Love: A Celebration of Gay Straight Alliance” after school hours in January 31. The event drew close to 300 people including local leaders, students, media, and parents.
“What most amazed me was that the GSA and the event was so overwhelmingly supported by the community,” she said. “What it proved to me and my kids is that love always wins.”
Gay-straight alliances are becoming more commonplace throughout the country as sensitivity to the issues facing the adolescent LGBTQ community increases.
The goal of most GSAs is to make their school community safe, facilitate activism on campus, and create a welcoming environment for LGBTQ students and their allies.
The Virginia Beach Human Rights Commission has presented Human Rights Awards, annually since 1993 to honor individuals and groups who have demonstrated a commitment to the promotion of respect and understanding among people with diverse backgrounds.
The program encourages the community an opportunity to nominate individuals, community groups, organizations, and businesses for meritorious service in the pursuit of cultural diversity and advocacy of human rights for all.