Local Catholic School Board Celebrates Gay-Straight Alliance (AUDIO)

The Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board is helping to celebrate Gay-Straight Alliances.

It is holding the first 'WEShine' event to mark the progress made at the board to make schools a more safe, diverse and welcoming environment.

Eli Marentette graduated from Villanova High School and is part of the lesbian,gay, bisexual ,transgender (LGBT) community.  He spoke at the event this morning at Holy Names High School about coming out after graduating from high school.

If teens are struggling, he says it does get better.

"There is a place for them that is loving and accepting and that whether or not they are having a great time in high school, once they are out and going on their journey of life, they are going to have a great time," says Marentette.

He was surprised by the support he had from family and friends.

"My parents were really great about it and my friends were really great about it, I have a lot of friends who are involved in the LGBT community so that made is easier, but the staff at my school were great too."

Danielle Desjardins-Koloff helped to organize the WEShine event and says the local catholic school board rivals other public boards in the province in celebrating diversity.

"All we want for our students is to be the truest versions of themselves and to be happy. Those are the two most important things as an educator. You want kids to be themselves, to feel proud of who they are and to feel happiness," says Desjardins-Koloff.

The first Gay-Straight Alliance at the Windsor-Essex Catholic District School Board was established at Villanova in 2013.