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VIRTUAL | SEP 11 - 19

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Watch this video to learn how to navigate the conference schedule and access conference sessions. If you have any questions or need further assistance, use the chat located at the bottom right of your screen.

A Virtual Conference Bringing Together the LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint Community

With still so much uncertainty as the world continues to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, one thing for us was certain: Affirmation will host its annual International Conference. Taking our experience host hosting this conference virtually last year, we're planning this year's conference to be even better with speakers, workshops, and opportunities to build connections within our community for all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions, spiritualities, and intersections with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whether you're an LGBTQIA+ individual, family member, friend, or church leader seeking to be a better ally and minister this is the conference for you!

Presenters and Panelists

Conference Schedule

You must be signed in and registered to join sessions from the schedule.

All times are Mountain Daylight Time (MDT).

QPR Suicide Prevention Training

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

This training, developed by the QPR Institute, will cover how to Question, Persuade, and Refer someone who may be suicidal; how to get help for yourself; general suicide prevention, the common causes of suicidal behavior; the warning signs of suicide; and how to get help for someone in crisis. This training will be provided by certified trainers. All are invited to participate in this training, including parents, allies, and church leaders.

Languages: English

Opening Session with Transgender Actor and Singer-Songwriter Emmett Preciado

10:30 AM - 10:55 AM

Following welcoming remarks from Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen, we will be pleased to hear from actor and singer-songwriter Emmett Preciado. Note: The Portuguese recording for this session will be posted soon.

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Affirmation Journeys

Affirmation Journeys

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

When we find ourselves transitioning away from, or already outside of, the religious traditions that were formative in our lives, we can find ourselves liberated and relieved, but also frustrated, confused, and a bit adrift. Come join our facilitated discussion to share and discover ways in which we can reconstruct our spiritual lives in ways that are affirming, sustaining, and joyful!

Languages: English

Parents & Allies

Parent/Ally Panel “Happiness at the End of the Rainbow”

11:00 AM - 1:10 PM

Parents & Allies will have the opportunity to the experiences & wisdom from a spectrum of LGBTQIA+ adults. Our goal is to bring a perspective of hope for the future of our LGBTQIA+ youth. The audience will have an opportunity to write questions to pose to the panel. This panel has been so powerful that it has become an annual event.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Church Leaders

Discussing Pastoral Care, Support, and Inclusion for LGBTQIA+ Individuals and Their Families

11:00 AM - 1:10 PM

A powerful panel discussion for church leaders of all levels exploring effective ways to provide pastoral care, support, and inclusion for LGBTQIA+ individuals and their families. This session is geared towards church leaders and our allies. This session will provide a safe and highly informative space to listen to and ask questions of a diverse and distinguished panel of queer Latter-day Saints who, along with an ally, will bring a well-rounded look into the experiences and needs of LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saints.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Affirmation Men

Affirmation Men

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Affinity group for LGBTQ men.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Trans* Mormons Families & Friends

Trans* Mormons, Families & Friends Affinity Group

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Affinity group session for trans* Latter-day Saints, and their friends and family. We encourage learning and education of trans* topics and how they relate to both daily life and the restored gospel.

Languages: English

Mixed Orientation Families In Affirmation

Mixed-Orientation Families in Affirmation

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Affinity group for folks who are impacted by mixed-orientation marriage in their family life. We want a safe place for the development of friendships, the processing of difficult realities, the sharing of stories, and ultimately, the support of our families, however they may be configured.

Languages: English

Affirmation Pioneers

Affirmation Pioneers and Alumni

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

A free-flowing discussion of the issues that matter to age 50 plus Affirmation members and those who have been long-time Affirmation members. Though oriented towards this age group, all are welcome.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Affirmation Millennials

Affirmation Millennials

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Affinity group for all LGBTQIA+ current and former Latter-day Saints born between 1984 and 2000, widely recognized as Millennials.

Languages: English

Affirmation LGBTQ Mothers

LGBTQ Women/Mothers

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Crossroads: whether we are first coming out to ourselves, to the world, or we are navigating our way through changes in later stages, finding people who understand our journey and can walk beside us helps us through. This session will break into groups in order to facilitate discussion and connection between those of us on different points of our journeys

Languages: English

Asexual/Aromatic

Affirmation Asexual/Aromantic

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Affinity group for those who are asexual or aromantic.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

People of Global Majority/BIPOC

Affirmation People of Global Majority/BIPOC

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Affinity group that is currently transitioning from being known as People of Color and Allies. This group is for self-identified people of color and allies gathered to explore multiple identities and the intersections of race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, and LDS faith.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Bi Pan Queer

Affirmation Bi/Pan/Queer

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Affinity group for those who are bisexual, pansexual, or queer.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Women in Affirmation

Women in Affirmation

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

This affinity group is for women who identify as members of the LGBTQIA community. Contrary to the primary song that taught us “we are as different as the sun and the sea/and that’s the way it is supposed to be,” the church has recently been pushing the idea that our identity as children of God is the only one that should matter – preaching that our focus should lie in celebrating our sameness. We have often been pressured to silence discussion of our orientation and/or gender in ways that cis-hetero members are not. How has being a member of the LGBTQIA community impacted the way you observe and rejoice in differences, rather than fear them? How do you make your authentic self seen and heard in spiritual and temporal spaces? Join us for a free-ranging discussion of these questions, and how to balance celebration of what makes humans the same while also celebrating what makes us different.

Languages: English

Fathers in Affirmation

Thriving as a Gay/Bi/Transgender/Queer Father

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Thriving including tips on parenting, dating & sexual Intimacy as a Gay/Bi/Transgender/Queer Father. Note: The recording of this session will be available in the Fathers in Affirmation Facebook group when conference recordings are made public.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Youth Track

Introductions / Discord Channel Kickoff and Games

7:00 PM - 8:00 PM

Plenary Session: BYU Student Leader Panel Discussion

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Blaire Ostler moderates a panel discussion featuring student leaders from Brigham Young University campuses in Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii.

This session will also include the annual financial report delivered by Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen and the presentation of the Affirmation Mortensen Award.

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

QPR Suicide Prevention Training

8:30 AM - 10:00 AM

This training, developed by the QPR Institute, will cover how to Question, Persuade, and Refer someone who may be suicidal; how to get help for yourself; general suicide prevention, the common causes of suicidal behavior; the warning signs of suicide; and how to get help for someone in crisis. This training will be provided by certified trainers. All are invited to participate in this training, including parents, allies, and church leaders.

Languages: English

Opening Session with LGBTQ+ Latter-day Saint Therapist TJ Thomas

10:30 AM - 10:55 AM

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Youth Track

Introductions / Get to Know You

10:30 AM - 11:00 AM

Queer Mormon Theology

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Panel discussion on the book “Queer Mormon Theology.” The panel will discuss the book (praises and critiques), the inherent queerness of Mormon theology, and ways we can advocate for a queerer understanding of Mormonism. The panel will focus on marrying queerness and Mormonism in ways that are unprecedented, but also deeply orthodox. Following the discussion, there will be a Q&A where attendees and engage with and respond to the panelists.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

People of Global Majority/BIPOC

Becoming One: Building an LGBT Mormon PGM/BIPOC Community One Ally at a Time

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

This panel will center on one of the critical challenges faced by LGBT Mormon People of the Global Majority (PGM)/Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) – finding and having trustworthy and ever-present allies. An intersectional panel delves into the topic of PGM/BIPOC allyship. What is it? What is it not? How did the panelists become allies to PGM/BIPOC? How does one become a better ally to PGM/BIPOC? How does one start on the allyship journey? Practicing allyship for PGM/BIPOC in our Affirmation community creates a better place for them to land, heal, share and be authentic. After attending this session, attendees will help: (1) create a counter-narrative against the judgment by non-PGM/BIPOC our PGM/BIPOC members often experience and (2) contradict the assumptions made about PGM/BIPOC LGBT lives by the non-PGM/BIPOC LGBT community.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Tips from Parents to Children on How to Come out of the Closet

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We will share our personal experiences about the challenges we faced with our families, our children, our social circle and the church when our children decided to come out of the closet, we will share our main fears and how we overcame these trials.

Languages: Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Youth Track

Identity Circles (Sexuality)

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Gather with other teens and a leader who identify like you. Gay/Lesbian/Bi/Pan options. Ask questions, share experiences, feel seen.

Affirmation 101

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

How well do you know Affirmation? In this session, we will review briefly the history of Affirmation from its founding to today, Affirmation’s current mission and vision, how Affirmation is organized, recent highlights of Affirmations advocacy and community building, volunteer opportunities, and ways you can support Affirmation’s critical work.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Multiple Colors, One Light

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

We will share our personal experiences about the challenges we faced with our families, our children, our social circle and the church when our children decided to come out of the closet, we will share our main fears and how we overcame these trials.

Languages: Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Affirmation Prepare

Affirmation Prepare

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

This is an affinity group for LGBTQIA+ individuals who have a belief in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, desire to be involved in church activity, and are supportive of everyone whether they are in a same-sex relationship, a mixed-orientation or opposite-sex relationship, or celibate/abstinent.

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

Queer Mormon Short Film: “Honor” by Lauren Noll

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Laine is a BYU student just months shy of graduating when she finds herself in the Honor Code Office for violating the statute about acting on same-sex attraction.

Trigger warning: Some viewers may be triggered by scenes of religious manipulation and trauma.
Disclaimer: This film is not rated, but does contain a fleeting scene of very brief sexual content (not unlike what might be found in a PG-13 movie).

Note: This session originally included an interview with the filmmaker. Due to a technical issue, the interview will not be shown.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Rainbow Day and Lighting of the Y at Brigham Young University

12:10 PM - 1:10 PM

Bradley is the founder of Color the Campus, whose mission is to support, protect, befriend, and love members of the LGBTQ+ community at all CES schools and organizes Rainbow Day annually to show visual representation and support for LGBTQ+ students and faculty at CES schools.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Youth Track

Mental Health

1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

Your mental health matters. Come listen to Melissa Soper talk about her experiences and advice for dealing with mental health issues in your life.

Affirmation Millennials

Grounding Techniques

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Discussion of mental health grounding techniques including mindfulness and meditation. Part of the workshop will be dedicated to practicing select skills.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Evolution of LGBTQIA+ Thinking within the Church

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Languages: Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

On The Record: A Comprehensive Discussion of LDS-LGBTQ Policy and Messaging

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

In 2019, Kyle released the On The Record project. On The Record is a detailed chronology of LGBTQ+ quotes and messaging from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The document is a fascinating and explosive look into the Church’s changing history and the way it has treated queer people.

In this presentation, we will discuss how, over time, the Church has mingled “the philosophies of man with scripture” we also can see through sourced material the positive steps Mormonism has taken to address the queer experience.

This presentation will likely expose you to a side of Mormonism you have never before experienced and it will help you to better understand why such a painful divide exists between the LGBTQ and LDS communities.

You can download your copy of On The Record by clicking here: www.LatterGayStories.org/record.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Alternative Paths to Spirituality

1:20 PM - 2:20 PM

Pastor, Historian, and former Mormon John Hamer and ULCA Pastor Preston Fields will lead a thoughtful discussion about options to spiritual practices that have satisfied the souls of people seeking diverse faithful expressions outside the constraints of Mormon theology and cultural norms. “Don’t throw the baby away with the bathwater!” will be examined and unpacked with examples of faith journeys and lessons learned by workshop participants.

Languages: English

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Youth Track

Identity Circles (Gender)

1:30 PM - 2:30 PM

Gather with other teens and a leader who identify like you. Trans male/Trans female/Non-binary options.

Youth Track

LGBTQ Panel

3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

Ask a panel of LGBTQ adult leaders any questions you might have.

Youth Track

Talent Show

4:00 PM - 5:00 PM

Your time to shine! Bring a talent to share. Music/art/juggling/anything is welcome!

Youth Track

Office Hours

5:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Reach out to leaders individually during their office hours for more one-on-one questions/advice. Come and go as you need.

Youth Track

Guest Speaker: Emmett Preciado

6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Youth Track

Paths Moving Forward

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Meet with other teens and a leader to discuss your chosen relationship with the church. Options include; Finding Your Path Within Mormonism, Finding Your Path through a Different Religion, Finding Spirituality Outside of Religion.

Youth Track

Goodbyes

12:00 PM - 1:00 PM

Bullying in the Workplace

1:10 PM - 2:10 PM

Languages: Portuguese

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Those Who Know How to Love Destroy Pain

2:20 PM - 3:20 PM

Languages: Portuguese

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Defense Against Bullying

3:30 PM - 4:30 PM

Languages: Portuguese

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Closing Plenary with Parity Executive Director Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen

5:00 PM - 7:00 PM

The final session of the conference. We’ll be pleased to hear from Rev. Marian Edmonds-Allen, executive director of Parity. We will also have a time for story starring with all attending invited to participate if they wish. Closing remarks will be provided by Affirmation President Nathan Kitchen.

Languages: English, Portuguese, Spanish

This session will be recorded for later viewing.

Special Tracks

Youth

Youth attendees aged 11-18 are invited to participate in the Youth Track of the conference. Session information will be provided to youth attendees after registration.

Parents & Allies

Back this year is a track for parents and allies! See the conference schedule above for the sessions included in this track.

Church Leaders

Church leaders attending the conference are invited to attend the Church Leaders and QPR Suicide Prevention sessions to aid in ministering to LGBTQIA+ church members.

Conference Quick Links

As the Affirmation International Conference is virtual this year, we’re asking that anyone who wants a name included in this program to submit the name using the form below. Their name will be shown on screen during the September 19th plenary session of the conference. All names must be submitted by September 17th.

Conference Updates

BYU Queer Student Leaders Panel

Watch Now: BYU Queer Student Leaders Panel from the 2021 Affirmation International Conference

September 18, 2021

Blaire Ostler moderates a panel discussion featuring queer student leaders from Brigham Young University campuses in Utah, Idaho, and Hawaii.

Parents Fireside on the Youth Track of the 2021 Affirmation International Conference

August 26, 2021

Learn more about the “best youth conference on the planet,” the youth track of the 2021 Affirmation International Conference. In this fireside, leaders of the youth track share their experiences and hopes for the youth attending the conference.

Candle

Submit Names and Photos for the International Conference In Memoriam

August 14, 2021

Over the years, this portion of the conference in memoriam has expanded included anyone that those within the Affirmation community have lost, whether they were lost to HIV/AIDs, suicide, COVID-19, or otherwise. This is an opportunity for our community to stop, pause, say their name, and be collectively empowered by their memory.

3 Reasons to Register for the Affirmation International Conference

August 4, 2021

This conference is for the entire LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community, including current and former members of the Church, family members, friends, and church leaders. You won’t want to miss it. Here are three reasons you should register for the conference!

Registration Open for 2021 International Conference

July 18, 2021

Registration this year is open to all at no cost. With this in addition to the conference being virtual, our hope is that this conference is the most accessible and well attended of any conference Affirmation has hosted. Last year’s conference included speakers and attendees participating who would not have been able to attend this conference in person. We hope to see the same this year, with those in the LGBTQIA+ Latter-day Saint community connecting with each other from all parts of the world in safety, love, and hope.

Winning Logo Conf Sched EN

Winning Logo and First Look at International Conference Schedule

June 2, 2021

Congratulations to Shane Price for submitting the winning design for the 2021 International Conference logo. Thank you to all who participated. A first look at the conference schedule has been published. Workshops and musical numbers still needed. Mortensen Award nomination deadline approaching.