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Parent to Parent Network Nights
A child coming out to family members is emotionally vulnerable and parents often find themselves sorting through their own complex feelings. Parent network nights help parents in supporting the unique needs of their LGBTQ2S+ children.
Through offering peer-to-peer support and resources, the aim is to equip the family members with the support and resources they need and best meet the needs of parent and child. This allows the families to then further support, affirm, and advocate on behalf of their LGBTQ2S+ child.
Body and Sex Positivity Support Workshops
The body and sex positivity support workshops include open supportive discussions while creating a safe space for all to participate in discussions and guided conversations about body image, media, and how to create a validating and affirming LGBTQ2S+ community with respect to body image, healthy relationships, and communication, while defining aspects of a healthy relationship.
All discussions incorporate gender identity, gender expression and transitioning, and sexual orientation including physical attraction, romantic attraction, and emotional attraction.
Social issues are addressed through sex positive research and education in a LGBTQ2S+ informed and sex positive manner including gender and sex positive tools for discussing sensitive health topics. The goal of these workshops is to develop a liberating space for a diverse group of LGBTQ2S+ and allied participants to discuss body image, social pressure and other stresses that affect self-esteem.
Pressures can be especially difficult for LGBTQ2S+ youth who are exposed to limited positive images of themselves in popular media, meaningful consent, and healthy relationships.
Binding and Transitional Care Workshops
OUTLoud provides the youth with access to accurate affirming information and resources, including volunteers with lived or professional experience addressing topics such as gender-affirming supplies (such as chest bindings, pads and forms, bra selection, packers, and stand to pee devices); gender-confirming health care and/or interventions (such as hormone treatments, hair removal and surgery) that may help youth feel their body better aligns with their gender identity.
It is of the utmost importance that youth receive competent and affirming medical advice and care. Workshops can provide information on medical interventions, and accessing competent and affirming medical advice to help make informed decisions and manage expectations.
Assistance is available with referrals to medical professionals competent in working with transgender and gender diverse youth, and mentoring.
Grief Share Recovery Workshops
In supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth through grief and loss it is important to remember the unique experience of these individuals. There is often a lack of resources for LGBTQ2S+ youth and support which can lead to further feelings of isolation, which can make healthy grieving difficult.
It is important to understand this population’s vulnerability to depression, social isolation, and the experience of multiple losses such as the possible rejection of family and friends when coming out. Acknowledging these factors when supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth through grief and loss is essential.
The workshops create a sense of community through grief, which can be a powerful tool in supporting LGBTQ2S+ youth who are grieving.
Coming out is the process by which someone accepts and identifies with a gender identity and/or sexual orientation and shares their identity willingly with others. OUTLoud’s Coming out workshops support LGBTQ2S+ youth with their individual coming out processes.
These are open discussions which include tips and tricks for coming out, scenarios, activities and do’s and don’ts. A youth’s decision to come out to a person or group is one of safety, comfort, trust, and readiness. Discussions help demonstrate that coming out is not a one-time event, it is a lifelong process and a decision that has to be made again and again in new situations.
The purpose of Coming Out Workshops is to ensure youth have support networks in place. Youth are taught how to build on positive experiences, how to deal with initial responses, and protect themselves emotionally while helping identify feelings associated with coming out – scared, relieved, confused, proud, vulnerable, uncertain, empowered, brave, affirmed etc.
Volunteers help youth navigate their own coming out journey by outlining their needs, identifying supports, and anticipating challenges. Activities may include making a coming out plan, a to-do list, or a list of the benefits and the risks of coming out.