Former Roncalli counselor, student to speak at LGBTQ presidential forum Friday

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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - "We want to make sure this is still a story about human beings," said Shelly Fitzgerald, no stranger to being the person at the center of a story.

The former guidance counselor was fired from Roncalli High School for being married to a woman and has been in national headlines for more than a year now.

"There are people behind the story and we want to do everything we can to continue reminding people that this isn't just a story, this is our story and how it impacts us," said Fitzgerald.

On Friday, she will get that chance, along with Butler University freshman Dominic Conover, a Roncalli grad. They've been invited to a Democratic presidential candidate forum in Iowa that will focus around issues affecting the​ LBGTQ community.

"I think tomorrow is really going to help me decide who I want to stand with," said Conover, who helped found Shelly's Voice, a group started by Roncalli High School students to support Fitzgerald when she got let go from the school.

The pair will be introduced at the candidate forum and a moderator will ask candidates a question submitted by Fitzgerald and Conover.

"To be able to ask a question of our next possible future president and be able to shape his opinion and hear his or her opinion on this topic is just so important to me," Conover added.

Even though both are attending a forum with democratic candidates, both say issues affecting the LBGTQ community transcend party and politics.

"I think what we're striving for, you can be both a republican or a democrat and take part in this change," said Conover.

"This is a human rights issue. When it's effecting our youth in such a big way, I think it should always be a non partisan issue," said Fitzgerald.