Learning with Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention
As PFLAG celebrates its 50th anniversary, there is no better time to join us for four days of connecting, networking, sharing, and--most of all--learning with love. The PFLAG National Convention is sold out for 2023. Hope to see you next time!
Washington DC | Arlington, VA
About the Convention
Opening Ceremony & Plenaries
Through workshops, panels, and presentations from community leaders, we’ll provide insight, expertise, training, strategies, and best practices so that PFLAG friends, families, members, supporters, and leaders can work together to fulfill our organizational mission to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
Whether you’re a longtime PFLAGer or new to the PFLAG family, join us for what promises to be an incredible four days!
Venue and Hotel Information
Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention will take place at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Crystal City, located at 300 Army Navy Drive in Arlington, Virginia.
Thursday, Oct 19, 2023
7:00am – 4:30pm Lobby Day
Friday, Oct 20, 2023
9:00 – 11:50am Media Institute
2:00 – 3:00pm Regional Meetings
3:30 – 5:00pm Opening Plenary
Saturday, Oct 21, 2023
9:00 – 10:15am Workshop Block 1
10:30 – 11:45am Workshop Block 2
12:00 – 2:00pm Lunch and Plenary
2:30 – 3:45pm Workshop Block 3
4:00 – 5:00pm Networking Reception
Sunday, Oct 22, 2023
10:00 – 11:15am Workshop Block 4
11:45am – 1:30pm Closing Luncheon
When and where will the event be held?
Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention will be held October 19-22, 2023 at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Crystal City in Arlington, VA.
How much does registration cost?
Update (9/26/23): Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention is now SOLD OUT!
Early bird rates ended on September 4th, 2023. Regular rates are $250 for PFLAG National Members (including Chapter members), and $340 for non-members. If you join PFLAG National now with a membership donation of $50 or more, you can automatically qualify for the discounted rate!
I registered but did not receive a confirmation email.
Check your spam folder; if you still did not receive a confirmation email, contact [email protected].
I’ve never been to a PFLAG National Convention. What should I expect?
We welcome you! Through workshops, panels, and presentations from community leaders over the course of four days, we’ll provide insight, expertise, training, strategies, and best practices so that PFLAG friends, families, members, supporters, and leaders can work together to fulfill our organizational mission to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
How do I get to the PFLAG National Convention?
The nearest airport is Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), about a 10-minute drive from the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington, DC-Crystal City. You can also fly into Dulles International Airport (IAD), about 30-45 minutes by car or Baltimore/Washington International (BWI), about 1-1.5 hours by car.
The DoubleTree by Hilton Washington DC-Crystal City Hotel provides free shuttle service to and from Reagan National Airport (DCA). Shuttle service starts at 5am and ends and midnight, and is provided every 15 minutes during peak hours from 5pm-10pm, and every 20 minutes during all other hours. At the airport, follow the signs to Ground Transportation-Hotel Shuttles located at Curbside 2.
Taxis, Lyft, and Uber are widely available at all airports and throughout the DC area.
Other transportation options include Amtrak (Union Station in Washington, DC) and bus (Greyhound, Peter Pan, Wanderu).
The nearest Metro station is Pentagon City Metro Station on the Blue and Yellow lines, about a ten-minute walk to the hotel. Crystal City Metro Station, also on the Blue and Yellow lines, is about a 12-15 minute walk to the hotel. (Please note that there is also a Metro station stop called “Pentagon” – do not exit from this stop.)
Use the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority’s (WMATA) Trip Planner to determine the best route to the Convention using Metro or bus.
Is there a special rate for booking at the Convention hotel?
Update (9/26/23): Rooms are now sold out at the discounted rate below.
Yes! The special convention rate at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Washington DC-Crystal City is $204 per night (taxes and other rates not included) for a standard room. Book your room early, as we may sell out!
Is parking available at the Convention hotel?
Yes, parking is available for $39 per day with in/out privileges.
- What learning sessions will be featured at the Convention?
I’d like to participate in Lobby Day. Do I need to register separately?
Lobby Day is included in your Convention registration. More information about participating in Lobby Day will be shared soon.
Is PFLAG Gives Back happening at the Convention this year?
PFLAG Gives Back has been an integral part of PFLAG National’s in-person events since our 2015 National Convention in Nashville, TN. In the years since, PFLAG chapters and members have participated in additional events, including most recently in Atlanta, where earlier this year members of the PFLAG National Board of Directors, Regional Directors Council, and national staff spent time volunteering with Lost-n-Found Youth.
This year, as PFLAG leaders, members, and supporters from across the country come together in Washington, DC and Arlington, VA for Learning With Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention, we’ll host a PFLAG Gives Back event in support of LGBTQ+ young people accessing the housing and street outreach services at SMYAL. You can learn more about SMYAL’s life-saving work at smyal.org.
To participate, please consider purchasing a gift card of $25 or more from retailers like Sephora, Ulta, Target, Giant, Safeway, Amazon, Uber, and Visa to give to LGBTQ+ young people who are in need of some holiday cheer. Then, at the convention, you can drop your donation off at the PFLAG Gives Back table in the exhibit hall and use our craft supplies to write a supportive note to accompany the gift, letting them know they’re not alone and that PFLAG has got their back.
After Learning With Love has concluded, a member of the PFLAG National staff will deliver everything we’ve collected to the team at SMYAL for distribution.
Have questions? Reach out to us at [email protected].
I can’t attend the Convention. Will the event be live-streamed or recorded?
Portions of the Convention will be live-streamed, and we’ll share more details soon. We’ll also be highlighting the Convention on social media both during and in the days and weeks afterwards, and we will feature the Convention in the next issue of The PFLAG Banner.
Are scholarships available?
Yes PFLAG National is happy to offer a limited number of convention scholarships–awarded at the $500 and $1,000 level–to help LGBTQ+ people and those who love them attend the Convention.
By providing monetary support to those who need it, our hope is to inspire and support the next wave of leaders in our fight for equality by increasing their access to learning opportunities facilitated at the convention.
We strongly encourage LGBTQ+ people, people of color, LGBTQ+ and ally young people, leaders of PFLAG chapters formed in the last three years, and people from rural areas to apply.
The deadline for submitting your scholarship application was Tuesday, August 15.
Scholarship recipients will be asked to submit a short post-event report in the format of their choice (e.g. written, video, etc.) chronicling what they learned and how they plan on using their new skills to enrich their community/field of work/etc. Additionally, recipients will sign a release allowing PFLAG National to use that report for marketing and promotional purposes.
Contact Chapter Engagement Manager Shaun Connors (he/they) at [email protected] with questions.
I work for a company or organization that is a philanthropic partner of PFLAG National. How do I attend the Convention?
PFLAG National’s philanthropic partners received a limited number of tickets to attend the Convention. Please contact the lead of your company’s DEI department or LGBTQ+ employee resource group for information.
Are sponsorship opportunities available?
Yes – we would love to hear from you! Convention sponsorships offer a unique opportunity to showcase your company or brand while supporting educational opportunities for LGBTQ+ and ally community leaders. Learn more about Convention sponsorship opportunities or contact Corporate Philanthropy Manager David Kinstley (he/him) at [email protected].
Will there be an Exhibit Hall?
Yes! Our Exhibit Hall will feature PFLAG chapters, businesses, and organizations dedicated to supporting the LGBTQ+ community and reaching our audience. We have more information for those who would like to purchase an exhibit table. Please email [email protected] if you’re interested in purchasing an exhibit table.
The deadline for submitting an application for an exhibit table is September 30, 2023.
When I arrive, how do I check-in?
Registration will be located in the Crystal Ballroom Foyer and opens beginning Wednesday, October 18 at 4:00pm ET for Lobby Day participants. Registration will be open throughout the Convention between the hours of 8:00am – 5:00pm ET. You will receive a name badge which will grant you access to all Convention activities, along with a special PFLAG Convention swag bag with goodies from PFLAG National and our philanthropic partners.
What are your COVID protocols?
PFLAG National requires all attendees be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Proof of full vaccination by showing a vaccine card or clear photo of the card will be required for entrance.
While we are not requiring masks at this event, we ask that attendees be respectful of others wearing or not wearing a mask. Masks will be available to those who would like to wear them but might not have brought their own.
If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, were recently exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19, we ask that you stay home to keep yourself and others safe.
As the COVID-19 pandemic is an evolving situation, PFLAG National reserves the right to update this policy as necessary before the event and will communicate changes to attendees and on this webpage.
What is your convention Code of Conduct?
PFLAG National is committed to creating a safe and welcoming environment for all Convention attendees. Harassment, verbal/physical abuse, or discrimination in any form will not be tolerated and will result in your immediate removal from the Convention.
PFLAG National and the DoubleTree by Hilton Washington DC-Crystal City cannot be held liable for any injuries or losses that take place during the course of the Convention, including unauthorized pre-and post-convention events.
Will there be security?
The safety of our attendees, volunteers, and staff are our highest priority. More information about security protocols will be shared soon.
What should I bring to the Convention? What can’t I bring?
Please have your confirmation email ready when you check-in (print or digital), along with your COVID-19 vaccination card (photos of both will suffice).
We encourage you to bring a light jacket or sweater, as hotel meeting rooms tend to be colder than room temperature.
You can bring cell phones and cameras for taking photos or short videos throughout the Convention.
Prohibited items include weapons/firearms/knives, pepper spray/mace, laser pens, outside food or drink, professional photography equipment (unless authorized by PFLAG), and promotional items not authorized by PFLAG.
Is there a dress code?
If you are participating in Lobby Day on Thursday, October 19, we recommend wearing business, business casual, or PFLAG apparel, and we encourage wearing comfortable shoes, as you will be doing a lot of walking throughout the Capitol buildings. Please do not wear shorts or flip flops.
Throughout the Convention, dress how you feel most comfortable! We encourage attendees to wear PFLAG apparel, which will be available for sale in limited quantities at our onsite PFLAG Shop.
Will ASL interpreters be available?
Yes, ASL interpreters will be available throughout the convention, including workshops, and during the Annual Meeting on Friday, Plenary Lunch on Saturday, and Awards Luncheon on Sunday.
I’ve registered for the Convention and have accessibility requests.
We value inclusion and access for all participants, and we’ll have more details soon about accessibility during the Convention. In the “Additional Needs” section of the registration process, please indicate what type of accommodation PFLAG National can provide you at the event. You can also contact [email protected] or 202-349-0788 if you have any questions.
If at any point that you recognize a need to request accommodations on-site at the Convention, please contact a PFLAG staff member or send a message through the Convention app.
Who can I contact if I need assistance at the Convention?
On site, if you need assistance or to report an incident, please reach out to anyone wearing a STAFF or VOLUNTEER badge, located at registration. You can also send a message through the PFLAG National Convention app.
I have registered and need to cancel. Do you offer a refund?
We offer a 50% refund to anyone cancelling up until October 1 or we are able to transfer your registration to someone else if you know of anyone else who will be attending.
- I have another question about the Convention that is not addressed here.
- When and where will the event be held?
Learning with Love: The 2023 PFLAG National Convention will include a variety of workshops, panel presentations, and roundtable discussions on Saturday, October 21 and Sunday, October 22.
More details are coming soon! Until then we’re proud to announce that this year’s agenda will include, but is not limited to:
- A roundtable discussion, facilitated by PFLAG National staff, focused on engaging allies to the LGBTQ+ community, no matter where they are in their journey, in their community.
- A roundtable discussion, facilitated by PFLAG National staff, focused on growing relationships with faith communities where you live and developing programming to support LGBTQ+ people and their families.
- A roundtable discussion, facilitated by PFLAG National staff, focused on PFLAG chapter operations including crafting bylaws, board governance, and more.
- A roundtable discussion, facilitated by PFLAG National staff, focused on PFLAG chapter safety best practices and ways to center community care and well-being.
- A workshop focused on community mapping, presented by our friends at the Equality Federation, which will help PFLAG chapters examine their community and develop powerful partnerships.
- A panel focused on plus identities that will feature leaders from youth-serving organizations, which will help attendees better understand less visible, underrepresented members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- A workshop focused on self-care for community advocates, featuring a Toronto-based community organizer who previously joined PFLAG as a part of our Something to Talk About Live program.
- A panel focused on strategic planning, featuring leaders from the PFLAG chapter network, which will help PFLAG chapters take a more holistic, long-term approach to programming in their community.
- A workshop focused on preparing for a crisis in your community, presented by PFLAG National Staff, which will help community advocates prepare for the unknown and develop a response plan.
- A workshop focused on social media moderation and online safety, presented by a good friend of PFLAG and social media strategist, which will help anyone working in online spaces to manage conflict.
- A workshop focused on media relations, presented by our friends at Mixte, which will help community advocates build relationships with local media and develop press releases, public statements, and more.
- A workshop focused on giving public testimony, presented by our friends at HRC, which will help PFLAG leaders feel more confident speaking out in support of their LGBTQ+ loved ones at the local, state, and federal level.
- A panel focused on working with schools to support LGBTQ+ youth in 2023, featuring our friends at PFLAG New York City, HRC, and GLSEN, which will highlight how this work has changed in recent years.
- A workshop focused on working with local school boards, presented by our friends at Red Wine and Blue, which will help PFLAG members better understand how to effectively engage and advocate at that level.
- A panel focused on the state of gender-affirming healthcare in 2023, featuring our friends from GLMA, Whitman Walker, and TransHealth, which will help PFLAG leaders understand the issues and tactics to fight back.
- A panel focused on developing relationships with elected officials, featuring our friends at Equality Ohio, PFLAG San Antonio, and the Equality Caucus, which will help advocates ensure that their voice is heard.
- A panel focused on the state of the federal judiciary, featuring our friends at Lambda Legal and TLDEF, which will illustrate what community advocates can expect from the federal judiciary in the coming years.
- A workshop focused on community partnerships, featuring our friends at Philadelphia Black Pride and PFLAG Philadelphia, which will help PFLAG members understand how to build authentic, lasting relationships.
- A workshop focused on transgender inclusion in sports, featuring a well-known transgender triathlete, which will help community advocates fight back against myths and misinformation.
Please note that this list is incomplete and more will be added as we continue to confirm speakers. It is also subject to change.
More information about the roundtables, workshops, and panel presentations as well as our presenters, panelists, and facilitators will be made available on the Learning With Love app.
Friday, October 19th
3:30pm ET / 12:30pm PT
Let Freedom Read!
Read With Love to Support Inclusive Books and Education
In a year when so-called “education advocates” have pressed to ban nearly 4,000 books from school and public libraries—the majority of which are by or about LGBTQ+ people, Black people, Indigenous people and people of color—PFLAG National urges communities to #ReadWithLove.
Host of “Velshi” and the MSNBC podcast “Velshi Banned Book Club”
Author, How It All Blew Up
President, American Library Association
Head of Organizing, Red, Wine & Blue
Saturday, October 20th
12:40pm ET / 9:40am PT
Courageous Love in Trans Healthcare
Every person, transgender or not, deserves the medically necessary healthcare they need when they need it. Yet, in many states, trans people and their families, doctors, and health providers have to fight for this basic human right.
Writer and activist
Admiral Rachel L. Levine
The 17th Assistant Secretary for Health for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Jesse M. Ehrenfeld, MD, MPH
President, American Medical Association