Models of Pride is the world’s largest, free, all-day conference that focuses on the concerns and interests of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) youth, The conference is put on by the Los Angeles LGBT Center's LifeWorks program and took over the at the campus of the University of Southern California this weekend. The Models of Pride Conference was created 25 years ago, as a means of providing a safe and positive environment where LGBTQ youth can network with each other and expose themselves to new ideas and information.
Being selected to run a workshop at this event was an incredible honor, and it was a delight to work with the youth in our sold-out class. The team of colleagues I worked with at this event talked for many hours about what we could offer, and decided after much deliberation on creating a workshop to create and enhance friendships.
LGBTQ Youth are far more likely to feel isolated and separate from others, Johnson and Amella (2013) found four dimensions of isolation, unique to LGBTQ youth:
Social Isolation: impacts LGBTQ youth who do not have anyone to talk to about their sexuality.
Emotional Isolation: Emotional separation occurs for many LGBTQ youth who often feel different from even their family origin.
Concealment of Identity: LGBTQ youth will often feel pressure to be 'normal', and conform to heteronormative society. This leads sometimes to youth avoiding other LGBTQ youth to avoid associations.
Recognition that Self is Different From Heteronormative Society: LGBT youth probably recognize that they are different than societal expectations as soon as they acknowledge their own sexual and/or gender identity. Knowing that oneself is “different” can be an extremely isolating feeling.
We addressed these barriers to relationships by providing an experiential workshop to enhance connections, vulnerability and empathy.
Thanks to all those who attended and we look forward to returning next year. If you're interested in bringing this workshop to your school or work place, please let me know.
Johnson, M. J., & Amella, E. J. (2013). Isolation of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth: a dimensional concept analysis. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 70(3), 523-532. doi:10.1111/jan.12212
My awesome colleagues are:
MFT Registered Intern #90604
Danny Haloossim, M.A.
MFT Registered Intern #86107
(323) 300-4403 www.goo.gl/cTPrMr
Leor Ram, M.A.
MFT Registered Intern #100947
PCC Registered Intern #4173