13th Annual Governor’s Conference on LGBTQ Youth Workshop Sessions
Workshop Session #1 – 9:20 – 10:10
Everything you wanted to know about HIV, STI’s, and PrEP.
Ashley Parker, Prevention Specialist, The Project of Primary Healthcare
1 in 4 people will be diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection (STI) by the age of 24 — do you have the knowledge needed to protect yourself? This workshop will dive into the basics of HIV, STI’s, and PrEP. We will discuss modes of transmission, risk reduction strategies, and resources we have available at the Project of Primary Health Care, Inc.
Know Your Rights
Alexis Rowe, Civil Rights Specialist, Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Andrew Greenberg, Civil Rights Specialist, Iowa Civil Rights Commission
Iowa has a long history of civil rights with 11 years of inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity protections under the Iowa Civil Rights Act. As a LGBTQ student, you have rights in Iowa. This workshop will explore what rights you have as a LGBTQ student in Iowa and how to report discrimination when it happens.
Creating Safer Schools: Bully Intervention Best Practices
Joshua Merritt, LGBTQ Youth Advocate, Iowa Safe Schools
This workshop will explore how utilizing Advocacy Services can help facilitate communication between students and schools to create a better learning experience for everyone. From safety planning to mediation with principals and counselors to spreading information, participants will learn about all their options in working with their schools.
Fundraising for Your GSA!
Members of the Student Leadership Council, Iowa Safe Schools
Many student groups need to do fundraising in order to do the activities, field trips, and host events that they want to do. This workshop will give you the tools you need to fundraise for your GSA and allow you to chart your own path. This session will give you the materials, ideas, and explore other ways to raise those dollars to support your GSA!
Firsts: A Conversation with State Representative Liz Bennett* Room 307-310
Representative Liz Bennett, House District 65
State Representative Liz Bennett is the first out woman in the Iowa Legislature representing House District 65 in Linn County. Representative Bennett was elected in 2014 and now serves in Leadership as a House Assistant Minority Leader. Representative Bennett works tirelessly for LGBTQ issues including banning conversion therapy and adding gender identity to the state’s hate crimes law. This conversation will cover her story and give you advice and tips on getting more involved in advocacy work..
I Am Her – A Conversation with Singer Shea Diamond*
Moderated by Courtney Crowder, Des Moines Register
“‘I Am Her’ means that no matter how the world treats me, no matter if I’m rejected, accepted, denied or misunderstood, I will continue to live out my truth as Shea Diamond! It was in losing the world that I found myself & the will to keep living as the woman I am proud to be.” Hear more about Shea’s story in this moderated session.
Workshop Session #2 – 10:30 – 11:20
Transitioning: A How-To Guide from a Mental Health Perspective
Joby Holcomb, Licensed Mental Health Council, CADC
Transitioning is a process that many youth will experience different barriers throughout. This workshop will explore transitioning from a mental health therapist background in addition to giving you information on questions you should ask while transitioning, where to find information on resources and support while transitioning, and how to identify those barriers in advance to your transitioning including insurance and Medicaid.
Joining the Queer Army: How to Become and Advocate for Social Justice
Kate Revaux, 2nd District Member, Iowa Democratic Party State Central Committee
Being engaged in political campaigns and advocacy organizations is important for LGBTQ persons. Contacting your local county party, working for a campaign, or volunteering with an advocacy organization is not as daunting as it may seem. This workshop will explore how you can use your voice and get involved in advocacy work throughout the state as well as tips and tricks from a professional queer politico.
The Crossroads of Me: Understanding Intersectionality
Members of the Des Moines Lincoln High School Gay-Straight Alliance
This workshop will explore the importance of intersectionality and the effects of diversity on teenage mindsets and its development. Come hear stories of LGBTQ students from different cultures and backgrounds. Ask questions and draw connections of similarities and differences and learn how you can promote more intersectionality writhing your clubs and organizations
Four in Ten: LGBTQ Youth & Human Trafficking
Celine Villongco, Human Trafficking Statewide Coordinator, Iowa Attorney General’s Office
Forty percent of all homeless youth identify as LGBTQ. Once homeless, LGBTQ youth are 7.4 times more likely to experience sexual violence and are 3-7 times more likely to engage in survival sex to meet their basic needs. Human trafficking is a real issue that impacts LGBTQ youth in our state. This workshop will explore the topic of human trafficking and LGBTQ youth in addition to providing state resources for prevention and interventions.
Firsts: A Chat with Troy Price, Chair of the Iowa Democratic Party*
Moderated by Patrick Rynard, Iowa Starting Line
Troy Price is the first out LGBTQ individual to serve as a Chair of a state party in Iowa. Through this role, Troy helps to elected Democratic candidates to office through messaging, capacity building, and fundraising. This conversation moderated by Patrick Rynard, founder of Iowa Starting Line, will talk about Troy’s personal story and give advice to those working to engaged in the movement.
Trans in the Military*
Staff Sergeant Patricia King, United States Army
Staff Sargeant Patricia King gained national fame when she was the guest of Congressman Joe Kennedy to the 2018 State of the Union Address. Staff Sgt. King’s attendance was shortly after President Donald Trump declared an intention to ban transgender individuals from serving openly in the military. Staff Sgt King is a role model and leader for many youth and this session will give you a chance to understand more about what is happening for trans servicemembers.
Workshop Session #3 – 12:40 – 1:30
Unpacking Your Knapsack: Understanding Privilege
Drake Rainbow Union
This workshop will explore the many privileges you have as an individual. Whether you realize it or not you carry around privileges because of your sexual orientation, gender identity, race, socio-economic status, religion, ability, and gender. This activity will help you better understand these privileges that you have.
Ending the Silence: LGBTQ Mental Health
Debbie Scott & Michael Weeks, NAMI Iowa Volunteers
Ending the stigma around mental health is important for all communities. This workshop session will explore mental health conditions, warning signs, and facts and statistics around LGBTQ youth mental health. This is a great opportunity for you if you are looking for resources for yourself, friends, or family members.
Progressive Issues = LGBTQ Rights*
Moderator: Chris Schwartz, Black Hawk County Supervisor
Melissa Peterson, Government Relations Specialist, Iowa State Education Association
Morgan Miller, Political & Legislative Director, AFSCME Council 61
Daniel Zeno; ACLU of Iowa
Connie Ryan; Executive Director, Interfaith Alliance of Iowa
Labor unions, women’s groups, and civil liberty organizations have always been at the forefront of LGBTQ equality work. This panel discussion will focus on the intersections of progressive issues and LGBTQ rights. When one progressive voice is under attack, it is important for the LGBTQ community to support those who have been allied with us for decades. Come with questions on getting involved in different movements around the state and hear directly from leaders in these fields.
The Misfit Student Organizer: Building Around Institutional College Walls
Ric Tennenbaum, Iowa Campus Coalition Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools
Two questions charge this workshop: (1) What does it mean to build and sustain queer community on college campuses? and (2) How do we keep going when our college institutions do not support us, or even when they want to shatter us? The queer student who wants a community not provided by the college is a misfit. They want to change part, or all, of a social fabric that’s interwoven with important resources for academic success and basic survival. When we want change, we rub against institutional walls. We will discuss the peculiar place of being a student at colleges and universities: simultaneously occupying a place of relative political security and a place of powerlessness away from decision making at the institutional level. This position leads us to organize and create community resources that do not depend on the college; it asks what expertise we already have in knowing how to support our queer family, and how we can effectively weave those knowledges together.
Building Trans* Inclusive GSAs
Members of Linn-Mar Spectrum, 2017 GSA of the Year
“Oh no HE didn’t…or is it SHE…. or THEY??? Ugh. What pronoun do I use?” From pronouns to names to gender expression, creating Trans* inclusive Gay/Straight Alliances is a common issue faced by LGBTQ groups. This workshop, presented by the 2017 GSA of the Year, will address the need of creating an inclusive GSA for students that are transgender and gender non-conforming. Discussion topics will also include conversations of including all students, both LGBTQ and Allied. Members of Linn-Mar Spectrum will empower students to educate themselves, their peers, and school community on the importance of gender-inclusive language and practices.
GBF: What’s Wrong with the Commodification of Gay Men*
Mark Pampanin, Political Writer and Consultant
Mark Pampanin is a nationally recognized speaker and political activist winning national titles for his speeches. Mark’s Ted Talk: The GBF: What’s Wrong with the Commodification of Gay Men went viral and continues to spark discussions on what it means to be gay and the idea that gay men as the hit new accessory. This workshop is an expansion of Mark’s Ted Talk and will dive deep into the commodification of gay men.
Workshop Session #4 – 1:50 – 2:40
3 Ways to Supercharge Your GSA for Next Year
Becky Smith, Iowa GSA Network Coordinator, Iowa Safe Schools
As the school year comes to a close, it’s important that your GSA is on solid foundation for next year and is ready to take on a new set of issues the group is passionate about. This workshop will give participants tips and ideas on how to keep GSAs sustainable and active from year to year, as well as give opportunities for GSAs to share their own best practices and network with each other.
Queering Student Voice
Ian Coon, Director of Communications, Student Voice
This workshop will explore ways to build student voice at your school, community, and on a larger scale. Students are making the movement for change on several topics from gun violence to LGBTQ rights. Participants will learn about resources to get engaged, best practices for using your voice, and working within an adult-run world.
Firsts: Senator Matt McCoy*
Senator Matt McCoy, Senate District 21
State Senator Matt McCoy was first elected to the Iowa Legislature in 1992 as a Representative, and was elected to the Iowa Senate in 1996. Senator McCoy became the first out person in the Iowa Legislature during his time and continues to be a fierce advocate for the LGBTQ community. He continues to be instrumental in work of education, healthcare, and economic development. Senator McCoy is a champion of LGBTQ youth and is currently running for a seat on the Polk County Board of Supervisors.
Exploring the “D” word: Diversity vs Inclusion as a Desired Outcome
Luana Nelson-Brown, Executive Director, Iowa Coalition for Collective Change
Remember when everyone was required to attend “Diversity” training? Are you among the many who think that those trainings were an epic fail? If the perception of the masses is that the “push for diversity” has failed, why is it still a “thing” in many sectors? Why have we not achieved what we were hoping for? In this interactive session we will explore the concept that “inclusion” was the true desired outcome of “push for diversity” and discuss why we’ve missed the mark in achieving it. Participants will leave this session having grasped the paradigm shift that is required to understand and implement successful strategies to achieve the inclusionary practices that propel us into a new level of success both personally and professionally.
You are Loved: LGBTQ Youth & Suicide Prevention
Jennifer Ulie-Wells, Executive Director, Please Pass the Love
LGBTQ youth are estimated to be 7-10 times more likely than their heterosexual and cisgender peers to attempt suicide. One estimate is that 50% of transgender individuals will contemplate suicide. All of us play a role in creating safe, healthy, and supportive schools and communities including helping friends and students who need support. This workshop will explore warning signs, preventions, and interventions on LGBTQ youth suicide.
Walking in your Truth as an LGBTQ Youth*
Daniella Carter, Speaker and Advocate
Join this moving workshop with Daniella Carter to motivate and inspire in your own truth as an LGBTQ student. Daniella Carter is an advocate for LGBT youth and has given speeches at local, national, and international events, including panel discussions with political leaders and dignitaries. Daniella initiated a project to bring visibility to trans youth issues and has collaborated with Miss Universe and others to share their experiences in overcoming homelessness. She has worked with her mentor Laverne cox and was featured in the Emmy award winning MTV & Logo TV documentary “Laverne Cox Presents: The T Word”.