Founded in 1973, PFLAG is the first and largest organization dedicated to supporting, educating, and advocating for LGBTQ+ people and their families. PFLAG’s network of hundreds of chapters and more than 250,000 members and supporters works to create a caring, just, and affirming world for LGBTQ+ people and those who love them.
Understanding the Community You Serve to be an Effective Ally
Track: Raise Your Voice
Workshop Block 2 – Saturday, October 26 – 1:45 PM – 3:15 PM
Room: Lester Young A
This workshop will discuss what it means to truly make space for someone and what showing up as an ally means by considering the different layers of intersectionality our diverse communities face. Many LGBTQI people experience trauma at the hands of their family, their community, the church and our government, both federal and state because of who they are. Experiences mold us into who we are and effect how we are able to make decisions. Similar experiences may affect different people differently. We cannot presume to know what a person is experiencing. It is our role to provide the safe space to work through tough feelings. We will discuss how PFLAG chapters can best show up for families and the LGBTQI people in their communities.
Marco Ortigoza, PFLAG El Paso
Marco Ortigoza is a native of the El Paso and Ciudad Juarez community. He received his Master of Public Administration and Master of Criminal Justice from New Mexico State University. He has been a member of the National Organization for Victim Assistance, the Academy of the Criminal Justice Sciences as well as the National Criminal Justice Honors Society since 2012, receiving the National Member of the Year in 2015. He has contributed to the formation of conferences in child endangerment, human trafficking, and domestic violence. He is an assistant professor of criminal justice. His areas of interest include issues in victimology, social deviance, the death penalty, and social justice. Currently, Marco serves in the board of directors as Vice-President of PLAG El Paso where he supports and advocates for the LGBTQIA community.
Lorena Soto, PFLAG El Paso
Lorena Soto is a first generation American born in El Paso, TX who proudly identifies as a queer brown woman. As an Air Force veteran, she was afforded the opportunity to experience life outside of her border town. After a few years of travel, she found her way back to El Paso with a new found respect for her desert home. Lorena invested her experience and knowledge in her community by working with nonprofits to better her community. Lorena is a presenter, facilitator and human rights activist. She currently sits on the board of PFLAG El Paso and uses her training experience to create custom presentations for organizations and business throughout El Paso with topics ranging from LGBTQ terminology, LGBTQ customer service, creating an inclusive clinic, sensitivity training, and diversity training. Lorena also facilitates conversations between community members and organizations to develop synergy and encourage teamwork and communication.