We recently interviewed Caleb Michael Laieski, an advocate for the environment, public safety, and the LGBT community.
Pro Media Mag : First of all please introduce yourself to our readers?
Caleb Laieski : My name is Caleb Michael Laieski, I am originally from Phoenix, Arizona, and I am an advocate for the environment, public safety, and the LGBT community. I was bullied in high school due to my sexual orientation, but I decided to take action and help prevent others from enduring the same circumstances. At the age of sixteen, I decided to take my fight to Congress and share my story — which ended up landing a meeting and a personal thank you from President Barack Obama. I am honored to be a prominent and national advocate for anyone who needs a voice.
Pro Media Mag : Who or what inspired you to raise voice for the bullied LGBT Youth?
Caleb Laieski : After being bullied in high school and losing a close friend of mine to suicide, I decided that I had to stand up for not only myself but for other young people that are struggling. For my birthday, all I wanted was to drop out of school and take my fight to Washington. So I decided to take my fight to Capitol Hills at 16 years old and began speaking with hundreds of staffers and Members of Congress about the importance of protecting all students and increase suicide prevention resources for other young people.
Pro Media Mag : Few years back you were an invited guest of the White House. Tell us about your meeting with President Barack Obama?
Caleb Laieski : There is no simple response to this Pro Media Mag, but it was certainly an honor to meet the President and be thanked for my efforts for all I was doing to help better our community. At the end of the day, I was there to help save lives and make sure young people had a voice in Washington.
Pro Media Mag : How fruitful was this meeting? Does he actually showed support for your cause?
Caleb Laieski : President Obama was very friendly and receptive to my advocacy efforts in Washington. President Obama and First Lady Obama made it very clear that they stood right beside me and could not agree more.
Pro Media Mag : You also attended White House’s first ever Conference on Bullying Prevention. What were the key points discussed?
Caleb Laieski : It was a pleasure to be part of the historic and first ever Conference on Bullying Prevention. Where it was such an honor to be there, it was also beyond heartwarming to hear of so many families loosing there kids to suicide. The conference was very inspiring, many of us left with new and better ideas to continue to important fight, and it was a place for leaders to make their impact even bigger.
Pro Media Mag : Two months later your also met with almost 200 legislators and members of the Administration? How successful were those meeting for the betterment of LGBT community
Caleb Laieski : I was actually very pleased with most of my meetings on Capitol Hill. Several Members of Congress heard my story and the following day, the ended up co-signing and co-sponsoring several anti-bullying bills that they were either on the fence about, or were not even aware of. There is so much power to sharing your story and passion. It is not about people not caring. Sometimes officials just have not heard the right story to get them inspired to join the fight.
Pro Media Mag : What’s the current status? Are you still actively working for that cause?
Caleb Laieski : I am still an advocate for anything and everything that is right. I was a 911 Dispatcher for a little over two years, and have since decided to pursue my education in Law Enforcement. At the end of the day, I am not an activist. I am just a person that fights for what is right, and wants to see our community and country be the best it can be.
Pro Media Mag : Anything else you would like to share with our readers?
Caleb Laieski : At the age of seventeen, I served as the Youth and Diversity Liaison for Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton. My goal was to ensure that our young people and communities knew that had a voice in Phoenix City Government. I worked closely with the LGBT Community in Phoenix, Arizona and worked non-stop to reduce bullying and suicide statistics in the State of Arizona through advocacy and my efforts in the Mayor’s Office.
Additional article: https://www.lgbtqnation.com/2011/08/bullied-gay-teen-meets-with-president-obama-proposes-lgbt-youth-advisor/
Social Media: https://medium.com/caleb-laieski-prominent-lgbt-advocate-alexandria