Catalyzing Faith Communities: Have an Interfaith Pride Celebration

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Bennie Moten AB
Presenters: Nancy Edmundson and Georgia Noble, PFLAG Santa Barbara

PFLAG Santa Barbara has, for five years, orchestrated Love. Period: An Interfaith Pride Celebration with our LGBTQ support center and progressive faith communities. The main purpose of these events has been to promote healing and reconciliation between faith communities and LGBTQ people. The events have been inspiring, uplifting, and well received. There have been many unanticipated positive ripples of coalition building and partnership formation among congregations, PFLAG Santa Barbara, and the community. The faith communities are more involved as allies helping us move equality forward. In this presentation we will share with you the “how to” of creating such an event: Step-by-step planning, funding, promotion, program designs, and major learnings along the way. We have even figured out how to break even. Join us.

Crafting a New Normal: Creating Effective Community Conversations about Intersectionality

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Julia Lee AB
Presenters: Jean Hodges, PFLAG National Board and PFLAG Boulder and Tonyia M. Rawls, Freedom Center for Social Justice

This session is meant to help chapters become more inclusive of diversity. Leaders will demonstrate ways to create a broader community conversation about inclusion and intersectionality. Its outcome is to create meaningful relationships and bridge cultural differences. A pilot event held in Boulder, Colorado, will demonstrate the value of partnering with faith, LGBTQ, and POC communities to bring together persons of diverse ages, backgrounds and belief systems. Shared needs, issues and questions from marginalized participants became the impetus for actions to change attitudes and behaviors of those more privileged. Key to the event’s success was an articulate, inspiring speaker whose own intersectionality of identities led to new understanding of “a New Normal.” Practical suggestions for ways to organize to bring together diverse participants will be provided.

Effectively Sharing Your Story

Track: Build the Future
Room: Central Street Room (Lobby Level)
Presenter: Jamie Henkel, PFLAG National

Every PFLAGer has a story. But knowing how to shape and tell that story effectively is a skill that separates simple storytellers from real changemakers. Effectively told stories shift the focus from the abstract to the personal, even for the most resistant audiences. This highly interactive session will teach you how to pick your best stories, develop them into engaging, must-hear narratives, and deploy effective messaging strategies to create common ground with others. Participants will have an opportunity to practice stories and get key feedback to sharpen their skills to become fierce advocates for equality.

Ex-Gay...Still Gay? Understanding Conversion Therapy and Proposed Legislation

Track: Raise Your Voice
Room: Jay McShann A
Presenter: Joel B. Barrett, Joel Speaks Out

Ex-gay therapy is the pseudoscientific practice of any attempt to change one’s sexual orientation/gender identity from LGBTQ to heterosexual/cisgender using psychological or spiritual interventions. It is also known as conversion therapy or reparative therapy, and, most recently, reintegrative, therapy. Because there is no reliable scientific evidence that sexual orientation can be changed, it is considered ineffective and seriously harmful or deadly especially for minors. Attempts to ban the practice through legislation are happening all across the US, and there is a growing call for banning of conversion therapy practiced on minors in states and municipalities. While the effort to ban this practice is commendable, what is actually accomplished? Does it stop the practice? What is and is not accomplished through this legislation?

How to Organize a Local Gender Family Conference

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Big Joe Turner B
Presenters: Catherine Hyde, PFLAG National Board and PFLAG Howard County, Sam McClure, The LGBT Health Resource Center of Chase Brexton, and JoAnne W., PFLAG Howard County

We are on a mission to create resources to help PFLAG Chapters host successful, local conferences supporting gender creative youth and their families. Whether your chapter is large or small, rural, suburban or urban, we want to make sure the resources we collect and create will help you build a successful gathering and expand your services to support one of the largest growing constituencies in PFLAG. We’ll speak briefly about how Maryland chapters are partnering and planning an upcoming conference and the tools we are using, and we also want to hear from you. What are your ideas? What tools and templates would you find most helpful? Help us create a toolkit of everything you need to get started right away.  

Supporting LGBTQ+ Youth in Foster Care and Juvenile Courts

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Big Joe Turner A
Presenter: Nicholas Oakley, Center for Children & Youth Justice

How can we improve our child welfare (foster care), juvenile justice, and related systems of care for LGBTQ+ youth? This workshop addresses this question by reflecting on the lessons learned from the pilot implementation of the Protocol for Safe & Affirming Care—a guide for systems professionals and caregivers on how to better support LGBTQ+ youth. We will learn about the development of the Protocol and its implementation, reflect on lessons learned from the pilot implementation of the Protocol, explore the importance behind discussing sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression (SOGIE) with systems-involved youth, and interactively strategize around building safer and more affirming systems. Together we’ll explore how PFLAG members can better support this all-too-often marginalized and underserved population.

Technology Roundtable

Track: Interact in Roundtables
Room: 12th Street Room (Lobby Level)
Facilitator: Brooke Smith, PFLAG National

Databases, websites, and other technology services can enable your chapter to track members, donations, and the work you do. Even more importantly, using tech tools can help reduce workloads for volunteers and ensure smoother leadership transitions. But it isn’t always easy to learn about new options and implement them with your chapter. This roundtable discussion will give you a chance to ask questions, share information, and network with others who are working to leverage evolving technology to be more effective. Bring your questions and expertise to the roundtable!

The Parent Journey: Raising Queer Kiddos in a Straight World

Track: Build the Future
Room: Mary Lou Williams AB
Presenter: Jen O’Ryan, Double Tall Consulting

One minute you’re noting the details of a dental appointment, then pivot to reminding yourself to pick up more beets, then bam! Your kid walks into the kitchen and comes out as non-binary. And now the dog wants back in. Seriously, this is how it happens, people. Parents and family members also go through their own process after a child comes out. It’s completely normal – a natural response to taking in new information about someone’s selfhood. This session explores the experience of parents and family members when supporting gender variant kiddos. Whether you had an inkling of your child’s gender identity, or it was a complete surprise, this is the place for you. Learn how to advocate, educate, and support in this highly interactive session.

Understanding and Supporting LGBTQ Youth: The Stories and Numbers Project

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Lester Young B
Presenters: Meg Bishop, Rachel Gonzales University, and Stephen T. Russell, University of Texas at Austin

This workshop presents the Stories and Numbers project, a new online tool for accessing resources related to the safety and well-being of LGBTQ youth in Texas schools. The purpose of the workshop is to orient school personnel to the resources covered on the website, highlighting the newest research on school policies, programs, and practices that are linked to positive adjustment and academic success for LGBTQ students, as well as ways to institute evidence-based safe school strategies. Attendees come way with action steps for implementing inclusive nondiscrimination policies and LGBTQ-related curricula, supporting Gender-Sexuality Alliances, and accessing professional development resources.

Understanding the Community You Serve to be an Effective Ally

Track: Raise Your Voice
Room: Lester Young A
Presenter: Lorena Soto, PFLAG El Paso

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.

Return to We Are the Change: The 2019 PFLAG National Convention.