NYS LGBTQ Families Gathered in Binghamton March 20-22, 2015
2015 PRIDE AND JOY FAMILIES WEEKEND CONFERENCE HELD IN BINGHAMTON, NY IN MARCH
The Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project, with co-sponsors the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program, Gay Parent Magazine and Camp Highlight, held its fifth NYS LGBT Families Conference in Binghamton, NY, March 20th-22nd. The event brought together LGBTQ-led families and their allies from throughout New York State (with a couple from New Jersey and Pennsylvania!). More than 180 adults and children, representing over 30 families, attended the weekend-long event at the Holiday Inn in downtown Binghamton.
Pride and Joy Weekend Conferences are a unique opportunity for the adults and children in diverse families to experience a sense of community, relax, learn and celebrate together. Previous conferences have taken place in Ithaca (2001), Binghamton (2005), Utica (2009), and Rochester (2011).
Highlights of the Conference included educational workshops for adults about many aspects of living in an LGBTQ family, including legal and financial matters, health and wellness, faith communities, family building options, and supporting transgender family members; a Keynote Address by Psychologist Abbie Goldberg, Ph.D., on how LGBTQ families are faring in schools; children's programming provided by Camp Highlight; on- and off-site family activities; a Resource/Vendor Fair; Family Dance Party; and pre-Conference educational program for regional health and human service providers by Dr. Goldberg.
Conference attendees told us this in their evaluations:
"The most valuable part of the Conference was to see my son so happy and free among friends and family. To feel connected. Not having to be concerned about what others think and just be myself with my family."
"Something I learned or realized is that I am loved by others. I'm a great parent. I'm doing my best but I realized that outside this conference, LGBT resources and support for my family are limited despite living in a major metropolitan city."
The Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project is celebrating 15 years of helping LGBTQ people in Upstate New York achieve their goals of building and sustaining healthy families. The Project was founded in 2000 with a grant from the New York State Dept. of Health (NYSDOH). Since October 2013 we have made our home in the Women, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program at Binghamton University.
Please check out pics from our Family Dance Party photo booth!