Every voter interested in advancing LGBT equality in North Texas should take a few minutes to learn where these candidates stand on issues of equality.
Frisco Voter Guide 2016 (313 KB)
Frisco Voter Guide 2016 (313 KB)
Our own Jamie Jones represented GALA Youth February 12th – 14th in Dallas at the 3rd annual HRC Time to THRIVE Conference. Jamie attendedback-to-back conference sessions Friday, Saturday, and Sunday that were most relevant to the young people GALA Youth serves. She collected information to share with the group as well as with the adults who work with our GALA Youth program. One of the classes Jamie attended was Connect, Accept, Respond, Empower: How to Support LGBTQ Youth, presented by the TREVOR Project. One point of emphasis during this presentation was that the importance of support for the LGBTQ youth cannot be overemphasized. Youths who have support are at a far lower risk of considering suicide. The TREVOR Project provided the following statistics regarding suicide among LGBTQ youth:
A Highpoint: One highpoint of Jamie’s conference experience was meeting and enjoying lunch with a 13-year-old who chose to attend the conference to learn, and to make connections in the LGBTQIA community. As of right now, 13 is still too young to become involved in most LGBTQIA Youth groups in the area. However, what was touching and encouraging was that this particular youth is looking forward to when they are old enough to join such groups, and in the meantime is lucky enough to have a very supportive parent and supportive family. GALA Youth focuses on middle and high school age youth but accepts all who need us on a case by case basis.
A Poignant Experience: One of the most difficult sessions Jamie attended was a presentation by the Clementi Foundation, listening to Jane Clementi recount the details of her son's suicide and the events surrounding it. Although Jamie had heard her speak once before, Jamie found it to be an extremely difficult and heart-wrenching experience.
Jamie left the conference with optimism and hope for a better future for our LGBTQ youth. She felt that, all-in-all, the experience was positive and hopeful. In her own words:
I've attended other events and conferences geared towards educators, but the attendance at those events was not nearly as good. There were so many sessions [at this one] to choose from that it was impossible to see and hear everything. I also learned that there were sessions for youths that were held on Sunday after the closing plenary for conference attendees. Such sessions might be of great interest to our youth should Time to THRIVE ever be held in Texas, or nearby, in the future.
Check these out:
TrevorSpace.org: an international networking site that allows youths to make connections.
Quist: an app that teaches LGBTQ history. Find more information or download the app here: http://www.quistapp.com/
If you would like to join us, or find out more about GALA Youth visit us on Facebook, or contact us at https://sites.google.com/a/galanorthtexas.org/gala-youth/
If you would like to join us, or find out more about GALA of North Texas visit us on Facebook, or contact us at http://www.galanorthtexas.org/contact.htm
The 3rd annual Time to THRIVE Conference will take place February 12th through 14th near Dallas, Texas, and our very own Jamie Jones will be in attendance to represent GALA Youth. The conference is a joining of forces between The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, the National Education Association, and the American Counseling Association in their continuing attempt to promote safety, inclusion and well-being for LGBTQ youth.
Although progress is continuously being made, the daily realities that our LGBTQ youth face include being bullied by peers, rejected by family, and fearing for their safety. The conference engages and enlightens adult professionals who work with LGBTQ youth to the many challenges these youth face every day. In its 3rd year, the Time to THRIVE conference works to provide information, education, cultural competency, and the latest and best practices from leading experts and national organizations in the field the resources to contribute to, encourage and support the safety and success of our youth. The conference welcomes educators, mental health providers, pediatricians, religious leaders, recreational athletic coaches, youth development staff, and others interested in the effort to provide our LGBTQ the safe, successful, happy futures they deserve.
In her own words Jamie is excited for “the opportunity to attend and to learn more about the latest best practices for advocating for and with youths. I am equally excited to have the opportunity to share the information with everyone!” Jamie will inform those of us following the conference, but not able to attend, of the event hashtag and will make every effort to tweet session highlights so those of us at home can follow the conference in real-time.
Although we are halfway through the month of January (already!) it is never too late to remind people of the many great GALA events that will be happening throughout the year of 2016. In fact, the year has already gotten off to a great start. GALA has already had meetings with the Plano City staff to follow up on ERO; they have met with Frisco Police to talk about ways we can support each other and share resources regarding Diversity; and have planned an LGBT Retirement Planning Workshop* given by Prudential Financial for LGBT couples and individuals regarding long-term-care coverage, annuities that provide guaranteed monthly income for life, what you should do with a 401K from a prior employer, and more. We don’t let any grass grow under our feet!
Still to come this month is the GALA Third Thursday Happy Hour and the Fourth Tuesday at Durkin’s Pizza:
Third Thursday Happy Hours: The GALA Third Thursday Happy Hours are a meet and greet held in a variety of venues in the North Texas area. This coming Thursday’s happy hour is being held at one of our favorite neighborhood bars, the End Zone, from 5:30pm to 8:30pm featuring drink specials and a beautiful spread of appetizers. The End Zone always does it up right! So come join us at 3033 W. Parker Rd., Plano TX 75023 this coming Thursday.
Durkin’s Pizza: Every fourth Tuesday of the month, come enjoy yourself with friends and family for a great cause: the GALA Youth First Fundraiser. Enjoy delicious pizza, drinks, and rock-n-roll at Durkin’s Pizza located at 8930 State Highway, 121 Suite 594, McKinney, TX. A community tradition to raise funds for the LGBTQA youth in North Texas, it is being held Tuesday, January 26th at 5pm.
Look out for so much more throughout the year including: Meet the Candidate Events coming in April, Voters Guides for both Municipal elections and statewide races, an educational event on aging, and the popular Party On Lake Lewisville this summer,!
*February 11 at Horizon Unitarian Universalist Church in Carrollton. It is a free event open to all. Register on this page.