Youth, Parents and Church Leaders Especially Invited to Conference
LGBT Youth and Teenage Children of LGBT Parents
This year’s conference will provide programming specifically for LGBT Youth and the teenage children of LGBT parents and their friends to make the experience like a youth conference! If they can only come for part of it, the biggest chunk of special programs will be on Saturday morning, but there will be fun activities as well as esteem-building activities throughout the conference. If you have a teen who would want to attend contact Christy or Greg Searle through Facebook or Daniel Parkinson either by Facebook or at [email protected]
Parents & Family Members
This year there will be a lot of parents, so it will be a great chance for your parents to meet other Mormon parents of LGBT. There is also a separate gathering for LDS parents of LGBT individuals on Thursday prior to the conference and if free of charge. It will be held at Jill Rowes house in Draper, Utah. Feel free to contact Jill via Facebook or Daniel Parkinson if you want to bring (or send) your parents to that event. Even if your parents are too nervous to come to the conference, this Thursday event will be more informal, and will include many active LDS parents (all parents are welcome though). You can contact Jill or Daniel through FB or by email at [email protected]
Youth & Family Event/ Film Screening & Discussion
We’re delighted to provide a special screening and discussion of the Family Acceptance Project’saward winning family education film “Families Are Forever” – the moving documentary of an active Mormon family’s journey to accept and support their young gay son – as part of Affirmation’s youth-focused events at the conference. This event is open to the local community and to those attending the conference and is provided free of charge by the Family Acceptance Project. There will be two consecutive screenings: 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. and 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. in the City Creek Room of the University of Utah Guest House and Conference Center.
“Families Are Forever” is one a series of short documentary films produced by the Family Acceptance Project and guided by their groundbreaking research which shows that how families respond to their LGBT children affects their children’s health, mental health and well-being, including suicide and self-esteem. The Family Acceptance Project will provide copies of their research-based family education booklet for each family that attends. This publication –Supportive Families, Healthy Children – is the only “Best Practice” for suicide prevention for Mormons in the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention and was written by Caitlin Ryan and Bob Rees to help Mormon families to support their LGBT children in the context of LDS values and beliefs.
The event will include a discussion on the importance of family support that is open to the community. Participants include Dr. Caitlin Ryan and Dr. Bob Rees with the Montgomery Family and other families and their LGBT/SSA children.
We strongly encourage you to invite your church leaders to conference, specifically to the Saturday morning portion. There will be special meetings for church leaders who attend on Saturday morning and they may do so at no cost. So, encourage your Bishop, Relief Society President, or any other ward or stake leader to attend and learn about ministering to their LGBT ward members. We have some former bishops and a current member of a stake presidency who will be part of these sessions to help share ideas and listen. The Church leader sessions will begin at 8:30 a.m. and end before 12:30 p.m. If you’d like more information please feel free to contact Jonathan Manwaring through Facebook or Daniel Parkinson by Facebook or email at [email protected]
Often, Church leaders have questions about what Affirmation is all about. We recommend that you share with them our Vision and Values and inform them of other other resources on our website for Church leaders. Also, former LDS bishop Don Fletcher from San Francisco will be speaking Saturday morning about how to make our wards and stakes more welcoming to LGBT/SSA church members. An article written by him was in the Salt Lake Tribune in 2012