Afternoon fireside chat question & answer hour in SpanishDr. Avilés Faría Psychotherapist, Gender Specialist & Sex Therapist. Come bring your questions to this exceptional Saturday afternoon chat for all individuals of all ages.

Celebrating rock bottom—the two souvenirs we may bring back from hitting a life low – Jillian Abby Life lows are inevitable and “rock bottom” doesn’t always look like what we envisioned it would be. And yet sometimes hitting rock bottom can be the thing that propels us toward the life we’ve always dreamed of. Learn why hitting our life’s low points doesn’t always have to be met with fear and the two key souvenirs that successful people bring back with them from rock bottom to help them move toward their most aligned life.

Finding Empowerment From Within – Nikolas The narrative portrayed by society has many of us seeking external validation for our authentic experience of ourselves. Join us for a fireside open dialogue and discussion about how exploring radical self-love, self-care, and the wisdom of our internal “knowing” can foster our healthy development. Focusing inward can shield us from narratives invalidating or questioning our self-awareness. Nikolas will share practices from a variety of mind/body/spirit perspectives that can empower our community and allies in a holistic way, and we welcome you to share your practices that have been healing and empowering. 

Free Mom Hugs Story – Sara Cunningham Today, Free Mom Hugs has chapters in all 50 states and other initiatives forming globally. The group’s growing force of more than 14,000 volunteers is a national groundswell dedicated to empowering the world to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community through visibility, conversation and education.

Honor, Courage, Commitment to Overcome Adversity: A Fireside Chat with a Career Marine – Rachel Retired Marine Corps Major Rachel Stuckey will discuss her journey as a closeted transgender Marine.  She will share how the Marine Corps Core Values of Honor, Courage, and Commitment inspired her to live her life with integrity, resolve, and compassion, and how she overcame many challenges to become the person she is today. She will briefly discuss her early life growing up as a closeted transgender person in Texas in the late 70s, 80s, and 90s.  She will discuss her experience in her 24-year Marine Corps career and how she eventually found the courage to come out to the Marines.  She will discuss how she navigated the government bureaucracy and insurance to receive comprehensive life and sanity-saving gender affirming care.  Finally, she will discuss how the current military environment affects transgender servicemembers, and how vital a diverse military is for providing for the best possible national security.

How do we show up for those struggling? – Murphy Suicide Prevention, Depression and Mental Wellness, and how to show up for others.

TELLING MY Authentic story and being transparent– Lorenzo My Story Lessons To Be Told Living In The World Of Taboo.

Though The Years: Living Authentically – Leland In this fireside chat, Leland will take you from the 60’s to the 21st century about his life living authentically, the struggles, the accomplishments, the good, the bad, the ugly and the reality of it all. Leland will also be discussing top surgery preparation, the surgery itself and post op helpful hints.

Shattering Identities: A Transcendent Love Story –  Alacks Jaan & Noelle
Our story delves into our life and navigating Dissociative Identity Disorder while embracing one of our alters as a trans male. Our story chronicles our resilience and celebrates the unwavering support of our wife Noelle. As we underwent our process, Noelle stood by our side while witnessing our journey, managing her own emotions, and becoming an essential pillar of support. Her unwavering love, patience, and strength is an integral part of our life. Our story is a testament to the power of love and unity in the face of adversity and the extraordinary bond we have created together as we embarked on a shared journey of identity, acceptance, and transformation. Please join us as ALL questions are welcome.  We speak about our life so others won’t feel so alone. 

The weight of the mask—the lesser-known challenges when we hide our identity – Jillian Abby Keeping a piece (or most) of our identity is a secret is harder than most people realize. In this session we’ll discuss the lesser-known and surprising challenges of what happens when we or those around us have to hide pieces of our identity. The conversation will include the concept of the Identity Discovery Gap and how our recognition of it can help us move closer to living the identity we desire. The weight of the mask looks to celebrate who we are and how we can make space for those around us to also step fully into their most aligned identity.

What to expect for your ER visit – Christine Daily if you have to go to any emergency room whether you are full-time or part-time you should be treated with respect, not discriminated against as this can lead to poor patient care by the staff. Barriers to patient care can be provider bias and discrimination, lack of education of the provider, personal and political opinions of the transgender person, socioeconomic challenges, lack of trust in the Medical, EMS/ Fire Community and lack of cultural competence by providers. With many years in the emergency room as a Paramedic Nurse, I have been a part of the community providing care to everyone.

Advocating For Your LGBTQ+ Child – Jennifer Solomon This training will offer parents and families of LGBTQ+ children concrete methods to support and advocate for their children at home and at school. Topics covered include, but are not limited to: terminology, safety planning, access to care, and tips for affirming LGBTQ+ children.

Baggage Claim Flight 143 Empower Same Gender Loving – Lorenzo The Goal is to empower the SGL Community (Same Gender Loving) in understanding and accepting themselves even if they feel they aren’t equipped with the confidence or resources to stand proud. This in return will aid them in finding their own identity and strive to make better choices. Breakthroughs & acknowledgement, finding tangible resources on the distributing and receiving side of family and relationship baggage.  Overall I see this as an emotional retreat and enlightenment workshop for People of color and all that attend. 

Breaking Chains: Identifying and Navigating : Toxic Masculinity in Yourself – Alacks Jaan & Noelle Toxic masculinity refers to cultural norms and expectations surrounding traditional male gender roles that are harmful to all genders and to society at large. It involves the enforcement of a narrow and restrictive set of behaviors and attitudes associated with masculinity, often characterized by traits such as dominance, aggression, emotional suppression, and the rejection of qualities traditionally deemed “feminine.” Transgender males may feel pressure to conform to traditional masculine norms to be accepted by society, even if these norms don’t align with their authentic selves. This pressure to conform can lead to internal conflict and may impact mental health. The experience of toxic masculinity for transgender males may include invalidation of identity, pressure to conform, engaging in or being a victim of homophobia and transphobia, emotional suppression, violence and bullying, and limited definitions of masculinity. Please join us and our wife Noelle as we discuss our journey in identifying and navigating how deeply rooted toxic masculinity is in ourselves during our transition and how it has impacted her and our overall relationship.

Breaking Barriers: Overcoming Psychological Hurdles in Advocacy – Alex 
Addressing defensiveness and other barriers in communication for successful advocacy. Strategies for overcoming communication challenges, including Imago Dialog and value connections.

Bridging the Gap: Addressing Internalized Shame – Luna Captilism, racism, sexism, and many other isms create a schism that separates us from our inherent sense of worth, belonging, impact, connection, and unique purpose in the world. Many aspects of today’s society have perpetuated stories of internalized shame and separation opposed to stories of self-love, acceptance, and unity. Come with an open mind, a heart full of compassion, and the willingness to create a new way of loving yourself and your reflections. Join us as we bridge the gap between the stories holding us ALL back from our truest, most aligned, empowered, connected, and whole selves. Please show up because YOU MATTER!

Cis Experience with Trans & Non-binary Folks Unified in Love: Challenges and Joys of Cisgender and Transgender/Non-Binary Relationships – Marla While transitioning is a journey for the person transitioning their gender identity, the cisgender experience is also quite a transition. In this workshop, we will talk about the following topics: how to navigate your emotional adjustment, changes (or non-changes) in your sexual identity and orientation, communicating effectively with your lover, finding social acceptance and support, dealing with public perceptions, sexual relationship changes, caring for your mental health, providing support to your lover, handling legal and medical issues, and renegotiating roles and relationship dynamics. By the end of this workshop, you will be able to name your particular challenges and joys and create a social support plan and network

“Connecting Through Differences: A Guide to Better Communication” – Alex
Description: Discover how to navigate conversations with people who have different viewpoints. This session will help you understand how our own biases, whether objective or subjective, singular or pluralistic, influence our communication and offer strategies to improve connections

Decision to Hormone Transition– Dr Whelihan This workshop will discuss the protocol, risks and benefits with open questions and answers. Open to all ages.

Depression and Suicide For Beginners – Murphy A part storytelling/part lecture event that mixes humor and vulnerable storytelling to help make depression and suicide make sense for folks who have not experienced it and provide catharsis for those who have. Perfected over countless storytelling events and always received with laughter, tears, and genuine thanks. This talk unpacks what suicide looks and feels like for those going through it, examines helpful and unhelpful ways to support someone you love struggling with suicide, and can be tailored to any audience. 

Destigmatizing Gender Diversity – Donna & Jaki Growing up with limited education and visibility can disrupt child development. When transgender, non-binary, and gender non-conforming youth see themselves and experience a supportive childhood, trauma is reduced, promoting healthy development. In contrast, existing in a system that perpetuates invisibility and erasure reinforces stigma. The current system assigns gender at birth inaccurately, limiting and traumatizing transgender individuals. Affirmation and encouragement lead to minimal symptoms, while oppression causes mental and emotional struggles. Creating a safe inner circle that affirms identities enhances mental and emotional well-being. Join us on a transformative journey towards self-discovery, healing, and thriving in a supportive community.

Embrace YOU: Recognize the Impacts of Social Trauma & Heal with Authenticity – Donna & Jaki In this workshop we will highlight the mental, emotional, and developmental impacts of being raised in a culture that lacks trans and queer visibility, and the misconception of these impacts. Being forced to live a life of suppression and repression, while rejecting authenticity, causes great harm to one’s psyche. In other words, it’s traumatizing. Meanwhile, authenticity is the natural medicine for healing! The term authenticity is widely used in relation to humansand the need for truth and integrity. For trans and queer folks, authenticity could mean the difference between life and death. Establishing congruence with one’s authentic self is essential for living a life of emotional freedom. Increased visibility and representation is paramount in the reduction of societal trauma. Join us on a transformative journey towards self-discovery and healing. Together, let’s rewrite our narratives and embrace our true selves. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to connect, heal, and thrive in a supportive community.

Freeing Gender:  Interrogating the Bipolarity in Femininity and Masculinity in Queer Identities – Marla What is gender? Is it who we are in the past or in the present? Is this something we’re born with or are we just victims of our environments? In this workshop, we’ll discuss all the various aspects of gender and queer identities. We’ll question ourselves about the roads to personhood and discuss how things have been nurtured or if they are just natural. By the end of this workshop, you will come out with a better understanding of who you are and how questioning your identity can be a great way to create more self-awareness in your identities.

How Did We Get Here? An Intro to LGBTQ+ Legal History – Scott This overview course looks back at some of the seminal court victories (and losses) that have led to the present moment. Looking back at our history helps us look forward to our future. Massive strides forward have been made for the entire LGBTQ+ community, especially in the last two decades. The current backlash is a result of the still increasing societal acceptance of our community. The intent of this class is to provide perspective and find a new path forward as we face the escalating attacks on our community.

Know Your Rights: Trans Legal 101 – Scott This course focuses on the laws currently in effect, with an emphasis on Florida and federal law. Specific areas of focus include education, healthcare, employment, and family law. This is a general overview intended to help trans and non-binary people understand the laws that affect them. 

Mind/Body Wellness in the Pride Community: Emerging Resilience-Informed Practices – Nikolas Presently, the ACLU is tracking nearly 500 bills across the US that impact self-determination and rights of gender and orientation diverse people and their families. According to an October 2023 FBI report, anti-LGBTQ hate crimes rose sharply in 2022, jumping more than 19% over 2021. Join us for an interactive discussion and review of how findings from community psychology and minority stress theory, combined with community-informed strengths-based and resilience focuses, can forward mind/body Pride wellness. Presenters from YES Institute will share emerging community-informed practices and will be available for Q&A and open discussion throughout the session. 

The power of family acceptance in the lives of transgender youth – Dr. Avilés Faría Acceptance is about really taking care of our transgender and gender-diverse youth. In this workshop, Dr. Avilés will take us through a journey of how to get to the final goal of accepting our youth and why. The struggles to get there will be validated as we move to work towards greater acceptance of who our trans and gender-diverse youth are so that we can help them navigate, with compassion, the process of safely getting their gender-related needs met. 

“Top Surgery and Beyond” modern gender affirming surgery for AFAB patients – Dr Gallagher In this workshop Dr Gallagher will discuss advancements of top surgery and other affirming procedures.

“Bottom Surgery Update” for AMAB patients – Dr Gallagher In this workshop Dr Gallagher will detail what is involved from a patient perspective with modern bottom surgery techniques.

Understanding Transgender and Gender Non-Binary Identities – Dr. Avilés Faría Understanding binary and nonbinary identities is not only an act of dignity; it is justice.  In this workshop with Dr. Avilés, we aim to gain a deeper understanding of the experiences of individuals who identify in the binary and those who do not. This knowledge will help us better comprehend their unique needs and struggles and, thus, provide more effective support.