Affirming the Straight Spouse Experience

Track: Raise Your Voice
Room: Lester Young A
Presenters: Daphne Callen, Kristin Kalbli, and Janet McMonagle, Straight Spouse Network 

How can straight spouses be supported and affirmed? Learn more about the straight spouse experience and perspectives, and best ways to include and support them as part of the rainbow family. Through handouts, PowerPoint, and discussion, we will share common experiences of straight spouses, and how they vary depending on the circumstances of their LGBTQ partner coming out, disclosing, or being discovered. We’ll cover the history of the Straight Spouse Network, our outreach efforts (including website and podcast), procedures for triage (the process of referring someone to the right person or group for help), and how we help through face to face gatherings and online secret communities.

Building Business Equality in Your Community

Track: Build the Future
Room: Central Street Room (Lobby Level)
Presenters: Stephanie Battaglino, PFLAG National Board and Follow Your Heart and Jean-Marie Navetta, PFLAG National 

The idea that equality is good for business is an established fact – employers retain productive talent, and LGBTQ+ people bring their whole selves to work without fear. However, the conversation around LGBTQ+ inclusion in the workplace has largely been centered on big corporations. Yet here are countless businesses in your community who can benefit from learning the business case for equality, finding how they can create policies that promote their commitment to inclusion for all, and getting key education and support to publicly declare their support. Learn how your chapter can connect with local businesses to educate, advocate, and develop mutually-beneficial partnerships to build inclusion in your community through using education tools, sharing advocacy resources, and creating visual representations to amplify their values.

Effective Chapter Meetings Roundtable

Track: Interact in Roundtables
Room: 12th Street Room (Lobby Level)
Facilitators: Jamie Curtis and Jamelle Dooley, PFLAG National

Monthly meetings are a key component to the work that PFLAG chapters do and the support they provide to communities nationwide. But how do thriving chapters balance support, education, and advocacy at their meetings in a way that grows membership and balances the needs of new and veteran members? This roundtable discussion will give you a chance to ask questions, share information, and network with others who are working to organize and plan effective chapter meetings. Bring your questions and expertise to the roundtable!

Family Acceptance within Families of Color

Track: Build the Future
Room: Julia Lee AB
Presenters: Kelly Brooks-Hailey, PFLAG National D&I Advisory Board and PFLAG Howard County, Blanca Leos, PFLAG National Regional Directors Council and PFLAG Denver, Robert Marchman, PFLAG National Board and FINRA, Sung Tse, PFLAG San Gabriel Valley Asian Pacific Islander (SGV API), and Marilyn Willis, PFLAG National Board

Parents of LGBTQ+ children from Asian, Latinx, and African American backgrounds will share their stories of transforming parent’s fear, shame, and guilt into unconditional love and acceptance for their children and their broader LGBTQ+ communities. Participants will discuss the challenges and successes in building acceptance in their family, extended families, and communities that have own unique historical, cultural, and language barrier challenges. Participants will also develop a deeper understanding of family dynamics, gain strategies, resources, and support to create stronger connections within their families and the LGBTQ+ communities they are part of or serve.

Helping LGBTQ Communities Build Local Capacity to Address Conflicts

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Big Joe Turner B
Presenter: Theresa Segovia, Department of Justice Community Relations Service

The Department of Justice Community Relations Service (CRS) supports LGBTQ communities interested in building local capacity to address conflicts, bias incidents, and hate crimes based on gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. CRS works with LGBTQ groups – as well as law enforcement, schools, faith-based organizations, government agencies, civil rights organizations, and others – to address local issues that impact LGBTQ individuals and the broader community. This workshop includes an overview of CRS’s services, such as training for law enforcement on working with transgender communities, hate crime forums, facilitated dialogues, mediation, and public event planning, and case studies and will highlight best practices and resources available to participants. CRS services are free, confidential, and voluntary. CRS staff are impartial conciliators who do not investigate or prosecute.

How Effective Strategic Planning Leads to Innovative Community Programming

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Mary Lou Williams AB
Presenters: Cindy Deutsch, Karen Tessmer Graci, and Annabelle Pardo, PFLAG Charlotte

In this interactive workshop, participants will learn from one chapter’s experience with in-depth strategic planning process and the resulting innovative community programming. Workshop leaders will share the fundamental steps to developing a strategic plan for your chapter, including data gathering, articulating a long-term vision, developing strategic priorities, and building project plans in support of those priorities. A sample and adaptable strategic plan will be shared with participants. The second part of the workshop will focus on innovative educational programming best practices. Workshop participants will have the opportunity to exchange ideas, and workshop leaders will share specific replicable ideas for collaborations within the faith, healthcare, and legal sectors of your community.

Pflag Canada: Lessons from North of the Border

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Jay McShann A
Presenter: Omid Razavi, Pflag Canada

The workshop provides a case study from your neighbors north of the border. Pflag Canada Director of Communications, Omid Razavi, is pleased to recount how an instance which threatened a progressive sex ed curriculum within the Province of Ontario led to a unique opportunity for chapters and National to band together and create a coalition and campaign. The resulting “Have Your Say” campaign highlighted the strengths, skill sets and passion for a progressive future from all involved and led to nationwide campaigns. The workshop is an opportunity to embrace how we have the power to be the change by working together. Learn how to reach out with an issue that is important to your chapter and how to work with fellow chapters as well as National to spread your message.

Welcoming Schools: Creating LGBTQ and Gender Inclusive Schools

Track: Lead by Example
Room: Big Joe Turner A
Presenter: Cheryl Greene, Human Rights Campaign Foundation

HRC’s Welcoming Schools program is the nation’s premier professional development program providing training and resources to elementary school educators to welcome all families, create LGBTQ and gender-inclusive schools, prevent bias-based bullying, and support transgender and non-binary students. This interactive session will enable participants to take part in a few of our engaging activities as well as learn how to bring Welcoming Schools to your community.

What Keeps Me Up Nights: Parents of Gender Expansive Kids

Track: Build the Future
Room: Lester Young B
Presenter: Catherine Hyde, PFLAG National Board

Raising gender-expansive children or teenagers can bring up a number of questions and challenges for the loving adults in their lives. Some are scary, others simply mystifying, and still others represent complex problems that seem to have no clear solutions. For caregivers working to understand, accept, or support their child’s gender expression or identity, these perplexing issues are frequently the stuff of midnight musings and sleepless nights. This session will be an informal opportunity to raise the things that are keeping you up at night, to hear from others who have asked some of the same questions and perhaps come to conclusions that might prove helpful as you seek to better understand your child and their gender journey.

Where We Call Home: Advocating for LGBTQ People in Rural Communities

Track: Raise Your Voice
Room: Bennie Moten AB
Presenters: Karis Agnew, PROMO, Logan S. Casey, Movement Advancement Project, and Brian Kirk and Carla Willis, PFLAG St. Joseph

Rural communities, and especially rural LGBTQ people, are often overlooked in national conversations. Rural communities are also falsely assumed to be places where LGBTQ people don’t live. This workshop discusses how rural life shapes LGBTQ people’s experiences, and the unique role that PFLAG chapters play in rural communities. Participants will hear from and interact with PFLAG leaders and other LGBTQ organizers working in rural communities about the unique strengths and challenges of rural communities and best practices for working in rural areas. Participants will gain a better understanding of the unique experiences and needs of rural LGBTQ people; ideas for how they can support rural LGBTQ advocacy and PFLAG chapters in their home state/town; and connections to other PFLAG members to sustain the ideas formed here.

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