PrideWorks LGBTQ Youth Conference

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PrideWorks Annual LGBTQ Youth Conference for Students, Educators and Supporters

The 13th annual PrideWorks Youth Conference will take place on Thursday, Nov. 17, 2011 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the DoubleTree Hotel in Tarrytown, New York.

PrideWorks is an educational conference open to students, educators, profesionals, parents and supporters for  LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) youth and their allies.

This educational conference, now in its 13th year, promotes a positive message and experience for lower Hudson Valley youth through interactive workshops and speakers.  Each year more than 600 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning youth, their educators, parents and allies attend this inspiring event.  Students attend from local high school and middle schools.

Dozens of workshops are scheduled for the day including: LGBTQ for Beginners – Understanding the Basics; College and Me; Bisexuality Explained; Being a Genderqueer Ally; Healthy Relationships for LGBTQ Youth; Battling Oppression – Can Life Ever Be Fair?; Body Image in the LGBTQ Community; Be The Change Advocacy Workshop; The Impact of AIDS and How Has It Changed Our World; GSA (Gay, Straight Alliance) Student Roundtable; Transgender 101; Making Schools Safe for Trans Youth; Power in Relationships; Making Sports a Great Place for LGBTQ Students; and more.

Until November 9th, early bird registration is $100 for adults and $35 for students.  After November 9th, the fees are $125 for adults and $55 for students. Register online for a 15% discount.  Limited scholarships are available for students.  A continental breakfast and buffet lunch are included in the fee. Registration is open to the community.

To register, visit www.PrideWorksForYouth.org.  For additional information, please call (914) 281-1634.

The conference is presented by PFLAG Westchester (a local chapter of the national Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays), GLSEN Hudson Valley (a local chapter of the national Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network) and Center Lane (drop in center for LGBTQ youth) - a program of Westchester Jewish Community Services, with the assistance of The LOFT LGBT Community Center and My Sister’s Place.

Keynote speakers will be Harvard Law School graduate and transgender rights attorney Noah Lewis and transgender law student Stevie Tran.

While lawyers normally advocate on behalf of their clients, some lawyers must be their own advocates. Transgender rights attorney Noah Lewis transitioned while attending Harvard Law School where he worked to transform the institution as well as himself.  He is currently Staff Attorney for Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF). Stevie Tran is writing her own success story as a transgender Vietnamese-American law student at Hofstra Law School.  Together, they will present a dynamic and inspiring keynote for 13th the annual PrideWorks Conference. 

Major sponsors include Eileen Fisher, Westchester County, Norman E. Friedman, and Larry Kressley & George Kimmerling.  Additional support comes from Randy Jackson Eyewear by Zyloware, The LOFT: LGBT Community Services Center, Westchester Pride Coalition, and Wim de Pauw.

PrideWorks is endorsed by many educational organizations, including The Westchester-Putnam School Boards Association, National Association of Social Workers Westchester Division, the Hudson River Teacher Center, Putnam-Northern Westchester Guidance Center, New York Association of School Psychologists, Westchester-East Putnam Region PTA and the New York State School Social Workers Association.


NOAH LEWIS - Staff Attorney, Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund (TLDEF)

A graduate of Harvard Law School, Noah Lewis received the Dean's Award for Community Service for his work with the Harvard Transgender Task Force, Lambda, and the Student Animal Legal Defense Fund. His work included assisting with the campaign that added gender identity to Harvard's nondiscrimination policy and achieving improvements in insurance coverage for transgender health care.

Noah also graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a B.S. in chemistry and a B.A. in the history and philosophy of science. While at Pitt he helped lead a successful campaign to add domestic partner health benefits at the university.  After his undergraduate degree, while still living in Pittsburgh, Noah engaged in transgender community organizing, including leading a transgender study group, speaking at educational events, and testifying in favor of a county-wide transgender anti-discrimination law.

STEVIE TRAN is a Hofstra University School of Law class of 2013 LGBT Fellow.  She graduated from Arizona State University with a major in Political Science, minors in Women and Gender Studies and Japanese, and an LGBT Studies Certificate. Stevie became involved in LGBT rights advocacy during college as an intern with Equality Arizona. She was selected as one of the Equality Federation Institute's first Leadership Development Program Interns. Stevie has also been actively involved in the fraternity and sorority community, creating opportunities to develop in the LGBT community. She is an alumni member of Sigma Phi Beta Fraternity, the only exclusively college-based queer-focused fraternity nationwide.

Stevie spent her first summer at Hofstra interning at the Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF). Stevie plans to use her legal education to expand access and opportunities for transgender people in all areas of life.

TRANSGENDER LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND (TLDEF) Transgender people have been subject to pervasive discrimination that has kept them, with rare exceptions, hidden from public view. While this discrimination has begun to lessen, transgender people still experience much prejudice and violence. The organization which Lewis and Tran are affiliated with – TLDEF - is committed to ending discrimination based upon gender identity and expression and to achieving equality for transgender people through public education, test-case litigation, direct legal services, community organizing and public policy efforts.



Harry Underwood November 18, 2011 at 12:45 PM
@Jill as if you would know. I am also Black and gay, so spare ME your hand-wringing about how most Black people differ from White liberals. Also, Jerry Sandusky was married with two children. How would he have felt shame about his homosexuality if he never slept with a man for the last decade? If he is gay and closeted, there is a Queer Student Center on the Penn State campus, operated by open homosexuals, that provides counseling in coming out of the closet. He could have done that years ago and come to terms with his alleged homosexuality, but he apparently didn't feel the need to come out. There are no men coming out saying that he had committed adultery with them, and no rumor thereof, not even at this most vulnerable time where he is facing life in prison without parole. Adult gay men can out him NOW, but no one has come forth. Only children are outing him as a pedophile with a loathsome personality. Therefore, how could he be gay? No one is saying such. No one is implying such except for people with obsessive personalities like yourself. Oh and no, I will not stop comparing your spurious and specious demonization of consensual love between adults to the most stupid and murderous social-conservative bigotries. Your religion is of no consequence to me, as I would say all that I have said to anyone of any religious affiliation or superstitious persuasion who holds the same doctrine as yourself. I reiterate: No sympathy.
Harry Underwood November 18, 2011 at 12:52 PM
@Jill (contd.) I cannot sympathize with your position. Sympathizing with it is like sympathizing with Osama bin Laden for his attempt to destroy the "corrupt", "morally-degenerate", "Satanic", "narcissistic", "puerile", "filthy", "idolatrous", "conspiring" Western world. Same M.O., same concerns, same objectives, same solutions, same results. I cannot sympathize with your position because it is hindering to liberty. I cannot sympathize with your position because it justifies violence against those who live and work in this society. I cannot sympathize with your position because it is not beneficial to, and is detractive from, the life of any American, even yourself. I do not believe that your affiliated organization, Concerned Women of America, has the best interests of all law-abiding and upstanding Americans in its repertoire of goals and actions. In fact, the M.O. of CWA does not respect the intelligence of any American citizen. Therefore, I reject your argument. More power to PrideWorks, GLSEN and all that they do this year and all years upcoming.
Jill Gertz November 18, 2011 at 01:27 PM
Lol - you've lost me Harry. I understand being compared to Osama for not wanting to teach kiddies to be genderqueer allies - but I have no clue what you're on about with your Concerned Women spiel. You're own hate issues make you quite the character. I'm sure you hate the Boy Scouts and Salvation Army too. You don't care about kids.
BG7 November 18, 2011 at 02:51 PM
Jill - The Weimar republic failed because of the fear of conservatives, like your fearful self, of the breakdown and disintergration of a social fabric perceived to have been better and more proper. The extreme right-wingers reaction against that supported and fostered by ultra-nationalist elements within the still-sore army and elsewhere funded the Nazis. They got more than they bargained for, and when they realized the apparent threats to society, just like yours, were exaggerated and in fact it was those that opposed freedom that were the threat, it was too late. Weimar wasn't malignant, its freedom didn't work because at the time there were too many clutching onto simplistic black&white notions of "strength" that history has since thoroughly discredited.The desperate need to control societal "norms" and enforce social engineering is the outward manifestation of a fundamentally weak society bound to fail.
BG7 November 18, 2011 at 03:00 PM
Jill, did you become straight because you saw some promotional leaflet on the subject? Do you really think that sexuality can be "brainwashed" into someone? As you know, which probably fuels your anger, you're on the losing side of the battle. Women's rights, minority's rights, homosexual's rights, you won't be able to stop development and majority acceptance of these in a free culture. Countries like Iran are the last bastions of such thinking, and they will try their best to hold up temporarily against the flow and development of human civilization, but they'll fail and fall in the end.


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