Charting New Courses!
For GLBTI people from Mormon backgrounds, coming out of the closet means
charting new courses: making new choices, confronting new challenges,
charting new spiritual paths. As an organization, Affirmation too is charting
new courses as it forges new alliances, launches new initiatives, and
adapts to new realities.
Join us in Salt Lake City, over Columbus Day Weekend, October 10 -12,
2003 at the University of Utah Guest House
in Fort Douglas. Make new friends. Reunite with old ones. Tour historical
sites. Enjoy the Utah landscape. Experience gay nightlife in the heart
of Mormondom. And learn about the new courses GLBTI Mormons are charting
|Dues-paying Student or Underemployed
Registration Per Diem
Evening Awards Banquet & Dance
SPECIAL DISCOUNT: Those staying in the University Guest House will receive
a $20.00 discount from the fees above. We strongly encourage attendees
to stay in the Guest House, which helps keep the registration fees low.
Registering at the Door
We will process door registrations throughout the conference. Since we
have already ordered the meals, the first ones to come are more likely
to secure their seats at breakfast and at the banquet. You can pay with
cash, a check, or a credit card.
Remember that you need to make your reservation by calling the hotel directly.
Reserving your room: You can make your reservations by calling the hotel toll-free at 1-888-416-4075. Identify yourself as a participant
in the Affirmation Conference in October and explain that you want to reserve one of the
rooms blocked for Affirmation. (Otherwise they will tell you that they have
only deluxe rooms available at $85 per night, excluding taxes).
Hotel Information & Costs
You will need a credit card to reserve the room. Rooms to choose from have
either one king or two queen beds. Check out what the rooms look like at
the Guest House website.
Early reservations are encouraged to ensure space and price. Rooms will
be held for the Affirmation conference until September 15. Then all available
rooms will become available to other university guests.
Room Costs: The cost per night is $79.30 (including taxes) for
double occupancy. A third or fourth person would be an additional $10 (excluding
taxes) per person per room. Up to four people can stay in one room.
Facilities & Food Services: The rooms have a small refrigerator and
microwave. The hotel does not have a swimming pool or a jacuzzi, but it
does have a fitness room. Those staying in the Guest House will be served
a continental breakfast, and other meals are included in the conference
registration. Even though the hotel does not have a restaurant, there is a fine dormitory cafeteria nearby, and restaurants can be reached by campus shuttle.
Parking: Free parking is readily available for conference registrants at the Guest House, Friday-Monday (about 200 stalls). In addition, parking is free Saturday-Sunday for the whole University of Utah campus. Just don't park in any spot that has a reserved number on it or is a handicapped stall. All restricted spots are well marked.
Finding a Roommate
Interested in sharing your hotel room with another conference attendee? Use this Roommate Finder.
This handy map in PDF format
includes the Guesthouse and all buildings where conference events will
University Guest House
Fort Douglas Station & Pedestrian Bridge
Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium
The Place to Be Me: Thanks to Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist Steve Benson for preparing this cartoon especially for the Salt Lake City conference
by Duane Jennings, Conference Chair
Join us October 10-12 (Columbus Day Weekend) as we gather for our annual conference to be held in the heart of Mormondom. "Charting New Courses" is this year's theme. We will discuss the unique issues facing GLTBI people from Mormon backgrounds and celebrate both aspects of our dual identity-Peculiar/Queer and Mormon. The conference will be held at the Guesthouse on the University of Utah Campus in Salt Lake City.
Friday, October 10
All Friday events held in the Officers Club
2:00 - 5:00 Leadership Meeting.
6:00 - 7:00 Refreshments & social mixer.
7:00 - 7:15 Opening Ceremony.
7:15 - 7:30 Icebreaker Activity by the Mexican Chapter
7:30 - 8:30 Performance by comedian/entertainer
Saturday, October 11
8:00 - 8:30 Breakfast
8:30 - 9:20 Plenary Session in the Officers Club
9:30 - 1:00 Workshops in the hotel
1:00 - 6:00 Free time - lunch is on your own
1:15 - 2:45 Gamofite Luncheon at the Heritage Commons, Meeting Room 2 (upstairs, by the cafeteria).
6:00 - 7:00 Awards Banquet in the Officers Club.
Dinner and awards.
7:00 - 7:15 Performance by Imelda
7:15 - 8:00 Special Guest Sue-Ann Post
9:00 - 12:00 "The Homecoming You Never Had," Saliva Sisters Performance and Dance at the Union Ballroom on lower campus. Cosponsored by the University of Utah LGBT Resource Center
Sunday, October 12
9:30 - 10:00 Music and the Spoken Word - Temple Square Excursion leaves at 8:45 am
11:00 - 12:00 Devotional
12:30 - 2:00 Closing luncheon and business, Officers Club
2:30 - 4:30 'THIS Obedience' documentary screening & Soulforce discussion
5:00 - 7:00 Family Fellowship Forum, followed by a
light buffet, at the Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium
7:00 - 1:00 am After Conference Party at Club Splash in downtown Salt Lake
Refreshments, Entertainment, and Cult!
- 8:30 pm, at the Officers
Club, south of the Guest House)
Affirmation leaders and members are strongly encouraged to attend
a leadership meeting Friday from 2 to 5 in the East Room of the Officers Club.
The Friday opening, at 6:00 pm, will include entertainment, a few serious words,
and how could any Mormon related event be complete without refreshments!
The serious part of our opening event will be a look back at our past
and the challenges we face in our future. The opening will also include
entertainment, and we'll be learning some Latino steps by members of the
Mexico City chapter.
Playwright/actor Steven Fales will read selections from his new one-man show in progress, Cult!, which explores his obsession with cults of all shapes and sizes in our cult-saturated society. Alternately lighthearted and tender, with satire both mischievous and biting, Fales examines the way we so easily offer our allegiances to others, allowing them to define who and what we are, when the real secrets are already within our grasp--and much simpler than we've ever imagined.
Don't Forget Your Swimsuit & Towel! For those who aren't into
the bar/club scene, Friday evening, after the Open Social and presentation
of "Cult," at the Officers Club, Wasatch chapter members Kevin and Steve
are hosting a reception at their new home in Federal Heights--at walking
distance from the Guest House. There will be hors d'oeuvres, music, videos--and
they have an enclosed heated swimming pool. So those who wish, bring your
swim suite and towel. We'll also have a few cars to shuttle over those
who don't bring their walking shoes. Festivities will start approximately
9:00 pm and run until 1:00 am'ish (whenever). We'll have maps at the Opening
Social and a phone number if you get lost.
Plenary Session: "Blessing" (Saturday, 8:30 - 9:20 a.m., in the Officers Club)
A short film will be shown, followed by a panel discussion and/or question and answer period. This film explores the excruciatingly complex tension between "worthiness" and "unconditional love," taking a hard look at the idea of "exclusion," and its consequences. In dealing with an issue as volatile and emotionally-charged as Mormonism and homosexuality, this film seeks to raise questions rather than supply answers. The panel will comprise of the director, Stephen Williams, and David & Carlie Hardy of Family Fellowship who helped with the underwriting of the film.
Workshops (Saturday, 9:30 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., in the hotel)
Saturday morning we will also enjoy a number of workshops on a variety
of topics relating to the gay Mormon experience:
- Women's sexuality and spirituality: Sara Jordan
- How to better meet the needs of women: Alyson Bolles
- Working within the LDS Framework: Clay Essig & Russ Gorringe
- Religious Alternatives for Gay & Lesbian Mormons: Lee Shaw (Episcopal Minister), Dee Bradshaw (MCC minister), Bob McIntire (Bishop in the Restoration Church), Maureen Duffy-Boose (Ordained Pagan Priestess)
- Long-term Male Relationships, Part 2--Charity Never Faileth: Kraig & Chris
- Family Planning for Gay and Lesbian Mormons
- LDS Young Adults, Part 2: Aaron Cloward, Erik Kruse, Micah Bisson.
- LGBTQ Youth
and Adult Support: Jed Brubaker, Affirmation Youth Services Coordinator
- Progress in the Mexican Chapter (bilingual panel): Hugo Salinas and the Mexican Chapter
- The Disciplining of Presiding Patriarch Joseph F. Smith: Gary James Bergera
- Transgender Issues: Sean Dennison (Unitarian Minister), Dominique
Storni, Rebecca Nay (Affirmation's Transgender Concerns Coordinator)
- The Handkerchief Project: Steve Dunn & James Cartwright
Saturday Afternoon: Free Time!
Lunch on Saturday will not be provided, but places for lunch, including
Commons, are located near the Guest House.
(Gay Mormon Fathers) will gather for lunch at 1:15 pm at the Heritage
The afternoon has been set apart as free time. Information will be available for groups interested in touring Temple Square, the Family History Library, and the City Cemetery.
Banquet with Sue-Ann Post
(Saturday, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Officers
Affirmation is pleased and excited to announce that international writer and comedian Sue-Ann Post will share her talents and thoughts at the Saturday Night Awards Banquet. Sue-Ann or Posty, is a comic with a past. She has left church activity (the Mormon one), she has come out (she's gay) and she's told everyone about it. Since Sue-Ann launched onto the scene with her multi award winning solo show, A Bit Of A Post-Script, she has been creating her own brand of information charged comedy that has shocked and delighted audiences around Australia, New Zealand and the UK.
Posty is possibly the only comic to perform for the Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras and the World Council of Churches in the same week--and she was cheered at both events! Her autobiography, "A Bit of a Postscript," is available through Penguin Books.
Rainbow Ball with the Saliva Sisters
(Saturday, 9:00 pm - 12:00 am, Student Union)
From the banquet we will be traveling down to lower campus and joining the LGBT campus community for the Rainbow Ball and entertainment to be held at the Student Union. Affirmation is in for a treat as the Saliva Sisters make a repeat performance at their third Affirmation Conference (previous conferences were 1997 in Salt Lake and 1998 in Portland, Oregon).
The Saliva Sisters are an unnatural act. Who would have supposed a girl group singing parody songs about fiber, bidets, and bras would have survived, let alone flourished, in Utah? Well, they have. In fact, they've become an institution. In 20-something years of melody, mirth and mucous, they have performed for groups as varied as the Western Republican Governors and the Gay Rodeo. As their performance list attests, they also get around. People who have seen them in their natural habitat import them to parties, conferences and cheap motels all over the country.
Music, Devotional, Luncheon
Sunday morning there will be an excursion to Music
and the Spoken Word at the Tabernacle on the LDS Temple complex and
the annual Affirmation Sunday Devotional. This will be followed up with
the traditional Sunday Closing Luncheon. But conference participants are
highly encouraged to extend their weekend through Monday. For a few lucky
ones, Monday will be a day off from work as it is Columbus Day Weekend.
The extended conference activities include the following:
"THIS Obedience," Soul Force, & Faith in Action
(2:30 - 4:30, Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium)
Moderated by Duane Jennings with Clay Essig, Carlie and David Hardy,
and others, this panel will focus on matters of education and activism.
The purpose of "Soul Force," much
like the actions of Gandhi in India and Martin Luther King Jr., in the
United States, is to put in motion people of faith to address the issues
of discrimination and injustice. We will screen part of the documentary
"THIS Obedience" and discuss discussion that have taken place the past
4 years on educating our LDS tradition - moving hearts, saving lives,
building families and improving our communities .
'THIS Obedience' is an emotional journey through one of the most contentious justice issues of our time. In an act of "ecclesiastical disobedience," a Lutheran congregation in Minnesota ordains the Rev. Anita C. Hill, a lesbian pastor in a committed relationship, who refuses the requirement of celibacy for gay clergy.
See www.thisobedience.com for additional information.
Family Fellowship Forum: Voices in Exile
(5:00 pm, Social & Behavioral Science Auditorium)
Sunday Evening Affirmation is cosponsoring the quarterly Family Fellowship Forum. Family Fellowship is an organization dedicated to strengthening LDS families with gay and lesbian members. We will screen a video produced and directed by Susan Randall, Assistant Director, University Television Productions, Boise State University, entitled "Voices in Exile - Stories of Lesbians Mormons." Susan will be here for the screening and will participate in a panel discussion following the film. The video features interviews with several Mormon lesbian couples, all with compelling stories and interesting perspectives.
After Conference Party at Club Splash
If you are 21+, join us Sunday evening at Club Splash in downtown Salt Lake. The inside is smoke-free! The party will start around 7:00 pm, Sunday evening after the Family Fellowship Forum at 404 South West Temple.
Flying to the Conference--The Inexpensive Way
Flying to Salt Lake for the October Affirmation conference
doesn't have to cost you an arm and a leg. Southwest.com
is offering some inexpensive, direct flights from Seattle, ($186), Oakland
($156), Portland ($180), Phoenix ($118), and other cities. These are special
prices available only via the Internet. Delta.com
also offers some excellent deals to Salt Lake--especially from cities
on the Pacific coast. Generally speaking, the sooner you buy your ticket,
the more chances to get the best deals.
At orbitz.com and travelocity.com you can
find specials offered by many airlines. All the prices below are roundtrips offered by orbitz.com on the dates of the
conference (October 10-12):
Finally, if you're the adventurous type, consider making a reservation at hotwire.com. Hotwire provides some excellent
deals, especially if you're flying from the East Coast or the Midwest, but alas—you'll find out your itinerary and
the name of your airline only after purchasing the ticket.
Useful Conference Links
Orbitz.com , Travelocity.com , Hotwire.com
Salt Lake Buses & Light Rail
University of Utah Pride Week 2003
Music & the Spoken Word
LDS Family History Library
Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Utah
Red Butte Gardens
Fort Douglas Military Museum
Utah Museum of Natural History
Utah Museum of Fine Arts (UMFA)
Olympic Sites (including the new Cauldron Park & Museum at Rice-Eccles Stadium)
Conference Will Kick Off with Leadership Meeting
The leadership meeting for the 2003 Affirmation Conference will take
place on Friday, October 10, from 2:00-5:00 pm at East Room of the Officers
Club, south of the University of Utah Guest House in Salt Lake City. We encourage
chapter and group representatives to schedule their flights so that they
can attend this important event. Even though the meeting is open to all
Affirmation members, we are asking every chapter to make sure they are
represented in the meeting. For more information about the conference,
please visit us at www.affirmation.org.
Scott MacKay, Olin Thomas, Darren Holman, & Hugo Salinas
Affirmation's Executive Committee
Conference Will Include a Sunday Afternoon Events
Affirmation's Annual Conference will include several Sunday afternoon events. Family
Fellowship will screen a movie. Free of charge and open to the public, the event will be
held at 5:00 pm at walking distance from the hotel. Dinner will not be
served on Sunday, but some refreshments will be served in connection with
Monday, October 13, is a federal holiday. Affirmation is not providing
official conference activities for that day. Conference attendees may
reserve rooms at the University of Utah Guesthouse through Monday at conference
rates. Those who already have a reservation through Sunday can call the
hotel (toll-free 1-888-416-4075) and extend the reservation one more day.
Will Imelda Sing?
Charting New Corsets!
The rumor that Imelda will perform a musical number at the Affirmation Annual Conference has been spreading in gay Mormon circles like wildfire. "Yes, it's true," wrote the diva in a message emailed from her bungalow hideaway in the Pacific. "I'll be there in black fringe."
Join us in Salt Lake City. Enjoy the Utah landscape. Experience gay nightlife in the heart of Mormondom. And learn about the new courses GLBTI Mormons are charting for themselves.
The light-rail extension to the University of Utah Guest House is open--right
on time for the 2003 Affirmation Conference. Conference attendees can use
this convenient service to travel between downtown Salt Lake City and the
hotel. We recommend attendees to use the "Fort
Douglas" station on Wasatch Drive. From this station, Fort Douglas is
wheelchair-accessible. From the Fort Douglas station, go to the stairs or
take the elevator to the pedestrian bridge. Cross the pedestrian bridge
and will reach Fort Douglas Boulevard (by the Officers
Club). Turn left on Fort Douglas Boulevard, go past the chapel,
and the hotel will
appear on the left.
Charting New (Light-rail) Courses!
Click here to enlarge map
Conference Will Be Held at Historic Site
The brand new University
of Utah Guest House is located by Fort Douglas, a place which has witnessed
Utah's struggles between civil and religious power.
Fort Douglas Museum
In the days of Brigham Young, when the federal government saw slavery and
polygamy as "twin relics of barbarism," Abraham Lincoln established Fort
Douglas at Salt Lake City, with its cannons symbolically pointing to the
distant temple. But the cannons were fired only to salute the resolution
of the conflict, when Utah finally attained statehood.
More recently the University of Utah built its Guesthouse at Fort Douglas
to serve as an Olympic Villa during the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake
City. Featuring 136 rooms, 5000 square feet of conference space, and surrounded
by a rich history, the University of Utah Guest House will be the place for
the 2003 Affirmation Annual Conference.
Join us in Salt Lake City on October 10-12, 2003 for a historic weekend.
Spirit of Fort Douglas A documentary prepared by the University of
Fort Douglas Military Museum
Committee Advances Ideas for Annual Conference
by Duane Jennings
The 2003 Affirmation Conference Committee
is excited about this year's Conference and hope all are looking forward
to the annual get-together. We have received many ideas from people and
the committee has had two brainstorming meetings. Now the question is just
finding people with time and means to bring some of these big ideas to light.
Volunteers are always welcome. Some of what we are looking at is a Rainbow
Ball sponsored by several local groups, a memorial service of some sort
and a celebration of our creativity.
We have also decided to resurrect the Handkerchief Project. Inspired by
Project and similar to the Shower
of Stoles Project, the Handkerchief Project is a visual representation
of the pain occasioned by excommunication. If you or someone you love has
been impacted by excommunication, or has had their
name removed from the records in anticipation
of excommunication, we invite you to participate if you didn't in 1997.
We'll have more information on this project in the following months.
Next month's Affinity and the website will have registration information
for the conference and accommodations, and additional information as the
details are arranged. We are looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting
new this year!
The Conference Committee
PS: Email Duane Jennings for questions, suggestions and to volunteer!
International Members Save Money for Conference
Every year the Affirmation Conference attracts members from distant lands,
but this year international attendees might set a new record. The Mexico
Chapter of Affirmation has just announced that a group of 6-12 members will
make the trip to Salt Lake City on October 10-12. Nefi, one of
the organizers, is promoting a saving plan that will help chapter members
complete the difficult trip, which involves buying expensive plane tickets,
processing a passport, and obtaining a visa. Nefi himself experienced his
first national conference six months ago, when he traveled to the event
held in Las Vegas.