You Can Play Joins Video Campaign Against Homophobia in Schools

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You Can Play has joined Out in Schools in its 6th annual Rise Against Homophobia contest, inviting youth from across Canada to produce public service announcement videos that speak out against homophobia and bullying.

Youth aged 12 – 19 can create a 30 – 60 second video that challenges homophobia and bullying. The winning video will be selected by a national jury comprised of students and youth leaders from across Canada. The top three entries will be awarded cash prizes and screened at a Youth Awards Gala later this year.

“We’re pleased to welcome You Can Play to this year’s Rise Against Homophobia contest,” said Ross Johnstone, director of programs for Out in Schools. “Last year, we saw participation from almost every region in Canada. It’s so inspiring to watch youth-made films tackle homophobia – whether at school, work, home, or on the playing field. The sports world can be an intimidating place for queer youth to be themselves, but by partnering with You Can Play, we’re working to build accepting communities and teams that celebrate differences.”

“The Out in Schools video contest works with You Can Play’s effort to showcase the voices of allies in a fight against homophobia,” said Brian Kitts, You Can Play Project co-founder. “We welcome the voices of kids all across Canada in partnering to change the culture of locker rooms and arenas of play.”

Homophobia and bullying are critical issues for teenagers in Canada. In a 2011 EGALE survey, 66% of LGBT students reported feeling unsafe at school, while 1 in 5 queer youth are physically harassed or assaulted due to their sexual orientation. LGBTQ students are four times more likely to attempt suicide than straight students. Entries in the contest will be accepted until June 3. Check out former winning videos, rules, video tips and information at