Blog

Report on Affirmation Argentina’s 2nd Annual Conference

The 2nd annual Affirmation Conference was held in Buenos Aires, Argentina last month.  People came from as far away as 18 hours by bus.  The full range of LGBT were represented and parents, family members and friends also came to support those attending.  Adrian Sanchez Roman – Affirmation Vice President, Randall Thacker – Affirmation Board Member, and Diane Oviatt – Affirmation International Team members and her husband Tom traveled from the United States to support and participate in the conference.

13043481_10153755083976339_2824626670559344175_n
A picture of some of those attending the conference in Buenos Aires.

 

Prior to the conference, Roxana Lopez, Affirmation Argentina’s Senior Vice President had organized meetings with the national organization for LGBT rights and the main organization that supports transgender individuals.  Affirmation presented these organizations with certificates of appreciation for their work in helping LGBT people in Argentina.  We discussed ways in which they can help us get our message to other LGBT Mormons and how we can provide them as references of support to those with whom we work.

IMG_1422
Affirmation’s Roxana Lopez and Adrian Sanchez Roman with the RITA organization that works to support Transgender, Intersex, and Transexual Argentines.

 

11217527_10153752035476339_4029774466572038899_n
Ezequiel Rojas, Roxana Lopez and Adrian Sanchez Roman with Argentina’s premier LGBT organization’s leaders.

The conference began Friday night with a sharing of individual stories by all those attending.  A creative workshop on how to effectively come out of the closet was role-played by Roxana and David, followed by an Argentine supper with lots of yummy desserts!

13012622_10153754331581339_4598264687140203078_n-2

Saturday morning included talks and workshops by a variety of presenters, addressing the subjects of being the architect of your happiness, God’s love for us, how to help yourself or others dealing with depression, and perspectives from parents on good and negative experiences with church leaders, etc.  Randall Thacker provided a overview of Affirmation’s goals, values and principles and also shared it’s history from the time of its founding by Matt Price and Paul Mortensen in the late 1970’s.

13043309_10153755091776339_6678337946214093028_n
Randall Thacker presenting on “What is Affirmation?” and its history.

A leadership training and team building session were held after the conference on Saturday in which priorities for the next year were identified and challenges were discussed.  Affirmation Argentina is led by Ezequiel Rojas – President, Roxana Lopez – Senior Vice President, and Sixto Flores – Vice President along with an advisory committee composed of a transgender (F-M) individual, a same-sex married member, the father of a gay child and psychologist, and two other gay men.

13077005_10153755659311339_7860820698353614019_n
Affirmation Argentina’s Leadership Team

David, who is the transgender member of the team, recorded his moving story which can be viewed from the Spanish-speaking Facebook Like page (scroll down a few publications to find it).

Sunday morning, those interested attended a LDS Sacrament Meeting in downtown Buenos Aires together.   Afterwards a devotional and testimony/story sharing meeting were held in the conference hotel where moving talks were given, hymns sung, and individual stories of faith, difficulty and resilience shared.  Those attending said the weekend recharged them to move forward with their lives, knowing God loves them and understands them individually.

13055588_10153755084036339_88242113544229322_n
Some of the women who attended the conference.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.