BINGHAMTON, NY -- Binghamton University’s Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program will host the 2016 Pride and Joy Families Weekend Conference from Friday, March 18 through Sunday, March 20, at the Holiday Inn and Binghamton University Downtown Center in downtown Binghamton. The conference is open to the public. Registration is required.

"Providing Welcoming and Affirming Care for Transgender People," a pre-conference professional training day, will be held for health and human service providers, students and the general community from 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Friday, March 18, in room 220A at the University Downtown Center. The fee for the training is $12 including lunch, or $40 including lunch and four Social Work Continuing Education Contact Hours. Registration is required.

 "Pride and Joy Families Weekend Conferences are a wonderful opportunity for LGBTQ adults and their family members to experience a sense of community, celebrate together, and find the support and resources they need to lead fuller, healthier lives," said Claudia Stallman, project director for the Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project. 

"Conference organizers also warmly welcome LGBTQ couples and single adults of all ages and stages of life (no children required), parents of LGBTQ children, health and human service professionals, university students and other allied adults."

The keynote address, "LGBTQ Families in Transition---Navigating Changes Within and Outside of Us," will be given by Vince Sgambati, a writer, teacher, and Pride and Joy dad. Adult workshop sessions will address mental health; legal issues; schools; adoption and foster care; family planning; transgender experience; talking with teens about sex; and families navigating change. Children and youth programs will be provided by Camp Highlight, a camp for children in LGBTQ families. The Pride and Joy Families Conference will also include intergenerational activities, a Family Dance Party, resource vendor fair and off-site excursions to Binghamton-area attractions.

This will be the sixth statewide LGBTQ families conference. Previous events have been held in Ithaca, Utica, Rochester and Binghamton. The conference is co-sponsored by Camp Highlight, Gay Parent Magazine, Family Equality Council, Out for Health, Identity Youth Center, Cortland LGBT Resource Center, Sage Upstate, United University Professions, and Binghamton University’s Social Work Department, Decker School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, Psychology Department, Health and Wellness Studies Program, and Alumni Association.

The Lesbian and Gay Family Building Project was established in 2000 and is funded with a grant from the New York State Health Department. The project is dedicated to helping LGBTQ people in upstate New York attain their goals of building and sustaining healthy families.  

Conference registration is available for the full weekend, or Saturday only. Children’s fees vary by age. College students may attend for only $20. Scholarships are available. The registration deadline is March 4. The conference hotel room rate is $92 per night (until Feb. 26) and is not included in the registration fee. For registration and program information, visit www.PrideAndJoyFamilies.org, or contact staff at 607-777-3717 or prideandjoyfamilies@gmail.com