RedefiningQueer: Making Lavender Connections Program Book

On behalf of the Conference Planning Committee, it is our great pleasure to welcome you to “Redefining
Queer: Making Lavender Connections - South Florida’s LGBTQA Student Leadership Conference 2015!” We
also welcome you to Florida International University! We at the BBC GSA, Stonewall Pride Alliance, MPAS—
LGBTQA Initiatives and Florida International University are thrilled to be able to have you all here for this
momentous occasion.
"Redefining Queer: Making Lavender Connections", is the 1st college and university conference of it's kind in
South Florida. The conference is bringing together 100 LGBTQA college students and community leaders for
a day of networking, learning, and sharing. As a Worlds Ahead Institution, FIU is an institutional leader in
embracing the diversity and inclusiveness of all its constituents. We hope that our theme of "Redefining
Queer: Making Lavender Connections" serves as a resounding motif that will inspire conference participants
to create a positive change back in their institutions as well as sustain a network of rainbow family members
here in South Florida.
We've worked diligently on putting on a fabulous conference and it is assured that you'll have a blast. By the
end of today, we hope that you will take away some great learning experiences coupled with loads of fun
and plenty of new friends to network with in the future! We hope your attendance at this conference fine
tunes your leadership development, activism and sense of belonging to the LGBTQA and greater global
The 2015 Conference Planning Committee
Enhance LGBTQA students’ leadership skills.
Help students develop networking skills and opportunities in the Miami area.
Increase the overall involvement and satisfaction of LGBTQA students, staff, faculty and
community members in South Florida.
Create a Miami-wide support mechanism for university and college LGBTQA students.
Provide a better understanding of issues students face on campus and in the community.
Thank you to our students, staff, alumni and community partners who donated many hours to bring you
“Redefining Queer: Making Lavender Connections”.
Jaylon Hadley
Vanessa Linares
Daniel Capote
FIU - GSA President
FIU - GSA Vice President
FIU—Stonewall Pride Alliance
Ryan Walsh
Ayana Wallace
Gary Santos Mendoza
FIU— GSA/Stonewall
FIU—Stonewall Pride Alliance
Florida Atlantic University—FIU Alumni
Edwin Serrano
Andrew Wiemer
Charo Valero
University of Miami
Gisela P. Vega
Carla Silva
Jonathan Monti
GSA/Stonewall Adviser
Alliance for GLBTQ Youth
FIU-Student Conduct & Conflict Resolution
Daisy Santiago
Sabrena Okeefe
Barry University - FIU Alumni
FIU—Center for Leadership & Service
Florida International University serves as
Miami's first and only public research
university, awarding bachelors, masters and
doctoral degrees. FIU is number one in
awarding bachelors and masters degrees to
Hispanic students. In its opening year, FIU
started off the University's reputation as being
unconventional but "Worlds Ahead," with a
record-breaking enrollment of 5,667 students.
As of today, FIU's enrollment is 54,000 making
it the fifth largest public university by
FIU's mission holds us to serving the South
Florida community by engaging people in
creative activity and collaboration. We are
committed to serving and educating the diverse
population of individuals who live in and
around our community.
The Gay Straight Alliance(BBC)
The GSA strives to Inform
and educate people on the
LGBT issues and history in
our community. They also
strive to create a safe place for people to meet
and discuss important topics in a social
environment. GSA members are committed to
giving back to the community and helping in
the struggle to create equality for everyone.
MPAS LGBTQA Initiatives
Multicultural Programs
and Services (MPAS)
LGBTQA initiatives at
University strives to
reduce homophobia
and heterosexism on
both campuses through education, advocacy,
and awareness. The program contributes to an
open campus climate that is safe and accepting
for all members of the University community
regardless of sexual orientation or gender
identity or gender expression. We offer
services that S.A.V.E. our LGBTQA students!
Both the personal and academic well-being of
the FIU LGBTQA students are at the heart of all
that we do.
 1-1 counseling & guidance
 Student scholarships
 LGBTQA Mentors Program
 Advise students groups
 Community outreach programs
 Offer awareness programs and
workshops: LGBT 101 & Safe Zone training
 Advocate for inclusive campus policies
 Transgender and Intersectional education
Signature events both on & off campus:
 FIU Miami Gay Pride Parade Contingency
and resource table
 Community Sponsor for the Miami Gay and
Lesbian Film Festival
 FIU Pride Month
 Work with community groups including but
not limited to: SAVE, Safe Schools South
Florida, Pride Lines Youth Services, Rainbow
Lotus House, Miami Gay and Lesbian
Chamber of Commerce, Aqua Foundation
and the Pride Center South Florida
 Student Leadership Conference
 Lavender Graduation
 Academic Programs and Services
 Queer Studies Certificate Program
The Stonewall Pride Alliance was established in
1996 to be a hub of education and social
activity for LGBTQA students at MMC. It serves
as FIU's oldest student organization dedicated
to fostering a safe social environment conducive
to learning and personal growth for all LGBTQ
students and allies. The Stonewall Pride Alliance
has always played an integral part in developing
the LGBTQA programs and initiatives at FIU.
WUC 1st
and 2nd
The FIU host committee has been
working hard to promote and
recognize principles of fairness, equity, and social justice
for all in preparation of this conference. By appreciating
the importance of inclusion, we hope to foster a culture
of belonging and mutual respect. These Conference
Etiquette guidelines have been developed to ensure all
individuals are respected and appreciated.
We are committed to creating a safe and positive space
for the LGBTQA community. We want everyone to have
fun, learn much, meet fabulous new friends and have a
great time. With this goal in mind, we remind everyone
of guiding principles that are essential to maintaining a
respectful and safe space for each other: human rights
and solidarity. Please adhere to the following conference
expectations so we can all enjoy the conference!
We are proud to host a beautiful and diverse LGBTQA
community where vibrant diversity in sexual orientation,
gender identity and gender expression is welcome. It is all
of our responsibility to ensure that each member of our
LGBTQA family feels welcome and affirmed. If you feel
harassed or threatened, please ask to speak with one of
the conference co-hosts who can be contacted in the
registration area.
Florida International University affirms its commitment to
ensure that each member of the University community
shall be permitted to work or study in an environment
free from any form of illegal discrimination, including
race, color, religion, age, disability, sex, sexual
orientation, national origin, marital status, and veteran
status. The University recognizes its obligation to work
towards a community in which diversity is valued and
opportunity is equalized.
Sexual harassment and other forms of violence strike at
the heart of both. Harassment, violence and bigotry
create feelings of fear, uneasiness, humiliation and
discomfort. They are expressions of perceived power and
superiority by the harasser over another person.
Sometimes, even when our actions are not intentionally
hurtful, what we say and do can hurt others or make
them feel uncomfortable. Sexual harassment is a form of
sexual violence. Sexual harassment is any unwanted
attention of a sexual nature. Examples may include:
 Remarks about appearance or personal life
 Unwanted flirtations or advances
 Offensive written or visual depictions like graffiti or
degrading pictures
 Touching someone without their permission (grabbing,
hugging, petting, biting)
 Unwanted sexual demands, pressure, propositions, or
requests for sexual activities
 Graphic comments about an individual’s body or dress
 Verbal abuse (including sexual insults and name calling)
For many genderqueer, transgender, and other gendervariant people, pronouns can be a source of frustration,
anxiety, hurt and unease. Being referred to by the wrong
pronoun, particularly by family and friends, can make one
feel as though people do not respect their genders. There
are additional options when it comes to gender-neutral
pronouns. People have been searching for an English,
gender-neutral, third-person singular pronoun for years
(admittedly, mostly to avoid the awkward “he or she,”
not in order to include non-binary gendered people),
although none of them have really been adopted into
mainstream usage. Within transgender and genderqueer
communities, there are two particular sets of genderneutral pronouns: ze/hir and they/them/their, used
similarly to she/her & he/him/his.
One way of acknowledging
transgender and queer
individual’s needs is to
designate restrooms for all
genders. Our host committee
has worked hard on creating All Gender bathrooms for
the conference with educational signs.
In bathrooms, many transgender people face harassment
that can lead to anything from deep discomfort to arrest
or death. Regardless of what bathroom you are in, please
let everyone go to the bathroom in peace. Each of us can
decide for ourselves in which bathroom we belong.
It is important that we create safe spaces whenever and
wherever we can. We realize sharing a bathroom could
feel new and different—we appreciate your
understanding. In our All Gender bathrooms we ask that
no one be stared at, questioned or be asked to leave. We
thank you for making our All Gender spaces inclusive so
that it is safe for everyone.
There are two All Gender Bathrooms designated for this
conference. One on the first floor in front of the
elevators, and another on the second floor at the top of
the stairs to the right.
Scott Galvin
Scott is a lifelong
resident of North Miami.
He was inspired to
government service at a
young age, having served
as president of Student
Government at North
Miami Senior High.
Galvin’s work experience is focused on
education. He has taught History at the
secondary level at public and private schools
in the North Miami area. He is currently the
Vice President of Education for Junior
Achievement of Greater Miami.
First elected to the North Miami City Council in
May 1999, Galvin has served as the District 1
representative on the council ever since,
winning elections in 2003, 2007 and 2011. His
current term expires in May 2015.
Charo Valero
Charo is the Field Organizer
at SAVE, South Florida's
largest political advocacy
organization for people who
are LGBT. Since she was
hired in May 2013, SAVE
has been working on TransEquality, to secure
protections in Miami Dade County for people
who are transgender. Charo is also one of the
founding members of PUSH, the collective that
organized the first-ever LadyFest Miami, a two
day festival in celebration of womanhood for
women and their allies that empowers the
local community and showcases local talent
through art, music, and educational
workshops and discussions. Before working at
SAVE, Charo worked in the private sector in
operations, accounting and finance.
She holds a Masters in Business
Administration from Nova Southeastern
University and is currently pursuing a Masters
in Religious Studies at Florida International
University. Born and raised in Panama, Charo
moved to Miami 8 years ago. In every one of
her undertakings, Charo strives to build
community and empower other women to be
leaders. Most recently, her organizing work
has focused on deconstructing and raising
awareness about the intersectionality of the
most salient social justice issues facing Miami.
Charo identifies as a queer Latina feminist.
Landon (LJ) Woolston
LJ is a trans-pan-queer
Miami native and a graduate
Miami. While he is completing
his Master's in Social Work at
FIU, LJ is also the Homeless Service Liaison for
The Alliance for GLBTQ Youth, where he is
working on the new youth homelessness
initiative in Miami-Dade. In his career, as well
as in his volunteerism and activism, LJ is most
committed to affirming and empowering
today’s LGBTQ youth.
LJ also uses one of his hobbies, photography,
as a form of activism -- a means of sparking
critical dialogue around body and sex
positivity, gender, and race. His images have
been published in several queer publications
and The New Times, and he has a permanent
collection on display at Trans-Miami's drop-in
center. LJ sees photography as a particularly
powerful, radical medium for trans/queer folk
to explore themselves, and to document their
varied paths toward self-discovery, body-love
and self-love.
With community support, resources, and
knowledge around self-advocacy (and a whole
lot of trans and queer-positive selfies!), LJ
hopes to see the eventual elimination of the
barriers that prevent LGBTQ young people
from living whole and authentic lives.
WUC 221
Speaker: Scott Galvin
WUC 221
(G) Non-Binary???
WUC 157
(H) Realizing Body-Shaming and Self-Identity for a Better You!
WUC 223
(V) Out of the Past: Our Queer His/Her/Our/story
WUC 221
(F) Mentoring: The Keystone to Leadership Development
WUC 245
(H) Fitness is Fabulous
WUC 157
(F) OOOPS Did I Say that?
WUC 223
(G) Homosexuality and Spirituality
WUC 221
(F) Word of Mouth: What you can’t get from the Position Description
WUC 245
1:45PM – 2:45PM - LUNCH BREAK
Dining Area WUC 1st Floor
(H) Victim Empowerment: Sexual Assault, Relationship Abuse, Stalking
WUC 157
(F) With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
WUC 223
(G) Queer Artistic Expression
WUC 221
(V) The Politics of Pride
WUC 245
(F) We Won! Now What? - Next Steps with Prejudice Reduction Work in Miami
WUC 157
(G) The Gray Spectrum and Asexuality
WUC 155
(F) Lead Out Loud: It Gets Better
WUC 245
WUC 221-223
Speakers: Charo Valero and Landon (LJ) Woolston
WUC 221-223
As a Worlds Ahead Institution, FIU is an institutional
leader in embracing the diversity and inclusiveness of all
its constituents. We hope that our theme of "Redefining
Queer" serves as a resounding motif that will inspire
conference participants to create a positive change back
in their institutions as well as
sustain a network of rainbow
family members here in South
102 (H) Realizing Body-Shaming and Self-Identity for
a Better You!
“Realizing Body-Shaming and Self-Identity for a Better You"
is about discovering the raw beautiful person you are and
removing yourself from stereotypes and labels. While
focusing on our true selves, we can put an end to bodyshaming and improve our mental well-being. Being happy
puts greater energy into the world.
Presenter: Benjamin Robles, Florida International University
Program Tracks
103 (V) Out of the Past: Our Queer His/Her/Our/story
To enhance student learning at the Redefining Queer
Conference we have identified learning outcomes around
competencies that students can use to further their
knowledge and understanding of the Queer community.
This presentation is designed to provide an introduction to
the LGBTQA life across societies through the study of
historical issues relating to gender and sexual orientation.
Participants will learn about significant historical
antecedents to the gay and lesbian movement in a fun and
engaging way.
(V) Valuing our Past to Create our Future: Programs
designed to inform individuals about the LGBT
movement both past and present on a National
level. Topics will Inform individuals on the historical
events that were the impetus for the LGBT
movement in America and progress today.
(H) Healthy, Happy, and Fabulous!: These programs
focus on one’s own personal growth, development
and how to nurturer one’s self to become Healthy,
Happy, and Fabulous individuals.
(F) Follow, Follow, Follow, the Leader: Programs
designed to assist and develop leadership skills that
center around effective communication, activism,
goal setting, meeting procedures, and organizational
(G) Global Community Connections: These
programs address issues of diversity and conflict in
the community on a Global scale. Topics might
include: transgendered issues, bias and hate crimes,
religion, and racial or multiple identity issue.
Program Session Descriptions
Presenter: Gisela P. Vega, Florida International University
104 (F) Mentoring: The Keystone to Leadership
This program will create dialogue on the importance of
mentoring in leadership development. It will provide
guidance and things to consider when selecting a mentor
and maintaining a strong mentor relationship. Addressing
the complete cycle of mentorship, attendees will gain a solid
foundation of how to initiate, improve, and maintain a
successful and rewarding mentor/mentee relationship.
Presenters: Victor Rodriguez, Florida International University
Jonathan Monti, Florida International University
201 (H) Fitness is Fabulous
Society imposes social norms of how we are to look, which
leads many college students starving themselves or feeling
inadequate. Ultimately harming their long term health.
This interactive session will help students learn how to make
food and exercise choices that are right for them as an
individual with the goal of improving their health.
Presenter: Sabrena Okeefe, FIU-Center for Leadership &
101 (G) Non-Binary???
The transgender community has had an increasing amount
of support and visibility in recent years. However, there are
many trans identities that are rarely discussed and often
misunderstood. This workshop will address Non-binary
gender identities and the struggles that they face. Other
topics include: the issues of pronouns, picking a name, how
to be an ally to Non-Binary folk, and coming out to others as
a Trans Non-binary individual.
202 (F) OOOPS Did I Say that?
Presenter: Ayana Cure, Florida International University
Presenter: Krystal Nicholson, Florida International University
Many students are unaware of the barriers that are present
within effective communication. During this session,
students will be engaged in team builders that focus on
demonstrating and improving different forms of
communication. The goal of this presentation is to identify
communication barriers and build an effective leader.
203 (G) Homosexuality and Spirituality
For far too long the Bible has been used as a tool for hate
and discrimination, targeting the LGBTQA community and
countless other minorities. In this workshop, we will look
at the seven difficult verses that have been used to
defend hate and ignorance. Join us as we reclaim the
Bible and shed the chains of literalism that continues to
drive a wedge between faith and the LGBTQA
community. By addressing these difficult core verses that
are used to discriminate against the LGBTQA community, it
is hoped that participants we be empowered and some of
the stigma behind them will be removed.
Presenter: Harold Marrero, Florida International University
204 (F) Word of Mouth: What you can’t get from the
Position Description
Hindsight is 20/20, and this workshop is about all the things
we wished we had known before becoming student leaders.
The presenter will focus on how to leverage feedback,
maximize your “invisible” resources, and how to create
thriving leadership. Participants will be shown how the
presenter invented the wheel (and you can keep the
Presenter: Shelby Juarez, University of Miami
301 (H) Victim Empowerment: Sexual Assault,
Relationship Abuse, Stalking
An in-depth presentation and discussion about three crimes
that traditionally aged college students are at high risk for.
We will examine exactly what consent means, the legal
definition of sexual assault, and what can be done if
someone is victimized. We will also look at the power
structures behind domestic violence, and conclude with a
brief overview of stalking crimes and how to report them.
Presenter: Justin Santoli, Florida International University
302 (F) With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility
What do you think of when you hear the word "Power?" Do
you have a negative connotation of power or do you believe
it is needed to create change? Come join in on a discussion
about power and its effect on society today.
Presenter: Ryan Keesee, FIU-Center for Leadership & Services
303 (G) Queer Artistic Expression
This workshop will serve as a space for delegates to come
and learn about the role of art in our lives. The goals of the
workshop are to present and discuss different forms of art,
to question what art means to you, and why works by
LGBTQA artists are important. This will be a hands on
interactive opportunity.
Presenters: Daniel Capote, Florida International University
Karina Delgado, Florida International University
304 (V) Politics of Pride
April is pride month, a time to celebrate and educate.
However not all pride celebrations are full of joy and
happiness. This presentation is designed to explore the
history of pride celebrations and how they are experienced
in different parts of the world.
Presenter: Jazmine Clifton, Florida International University
401 (F) We Won! Now What? - Next Steps with
Prejudice Reduction Work in Miami
We won county-wide anti-discrimination protections on the
basis of gender identity and gender expression in December
2014! So now what? Anti-trans* prejudice still exists and our
opposition is relentless.
In 2015 SAVE is teaming up with the Leadership LAB and the
National LGBTQ Taskforce to continue to push forward.
We’ve launch a prejudice reduction campaign change the
hearts and minds of voters in Miami and to prepare for any
challenges to the anti-discrimination protections now in
place. And we need everyone to work with us.
This session will cover the current state of equality in Florida,
the strategy and tactics behind the prejudice reduction
campaign, the plan to build grassroots leadership with
volunteers , and an intro to the Power Summit being held in
Presenters: Charo Valero, SAVE
Justin Klecha, SAVE
402 (G) The Gray Spectrum and Asexuality
This workshop will cover the Gray Spectrum and the issues
and identities therein. The presenters will provide a safe
space for people to learn about the different sexual and
romantic orientations that exist. This presentation will also
help individuals explore their own identities.
Presenters: Daniel Capote, Florida International University
Ayana Cure, Florida International University
403 (F) Lead Out Loud: It Gets Better
Learning to be an open-LGBTQA student leader on campus is
easier said than done. This short presentation will enhance
your understanding of using resources on your campus to
create a positive and open setting for all student leaders to
thrive. Participants will have the opportunity to network
within this session, and learn what others are doing at their
institution as LGBTQA student leaders. Students will be able
to participate in the 'It Gets Better' video campaign to
inspire others to get involved and know that there is
Presenters: Stephanie Jamanca, Florida International University
Edwin Serrano, Florida International University 9
Our conference partners are those organizations and departments that have made this
conference possible. We could not have put on this amazing conference without their
assistance. We thank these groups for their investment in countless hours, people power, and
in-kind donations.
Our Conference sponsors have provided significant financial assistance in order to help us put
on this conference. We would like to thank our sponsors for their generous donations. Thank
you to the GLBT Community Projects Fund at the Miami Foundation, the National LGBTQ Task
Force, & MPAS LGBTQA Initiatives.