Gender & Sexual Minorities Conference

The LGBTQ Resource Center and Women's Center present:

The 5th Annual Gender & Sexual Minorities Conference

Well-Being and Being Well 

Friday, October 1st 2021 | 11am-5pm | McFarland Student Union Building

Conference Overview:

We cordially invite undergraduates, graduates, faculty, staff, activists, and independent scholars to attend the 5th annual Gender and Sexual Minorities Conference at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, taking place Friday October 1st, 2021.

Over the past decade, we have seen gender and sexual minority advocates work towards equity, acceptance, and visibility in all areas of life. The conference taking place at Kutztown University will serve as an educational opportunity for members of the LGBT community and their allies to learn more about struggles, issues, and movements towards change, while approaching aspects of wellness from the personal, to relational, to political, to organizational. This year’s theme and focus is WELL-BEING. BEING-WELL.

To Attend the Conference:

The Gender & Sexual Minorities Conference is free to attend!

If you plan on attending the conference, either as a presenter or attendee, please RSVP online through Engage. You will still be able to attend the conference if you don't RSVP, you will just need to fill out a registration form at the conference registration desk. 

Schedule

10AM

Registration & Coffee

11AM

Keynote: DoctorJonPaul Higgins (They/Them)

MSU 218

Writer and Social Justice Educator focused on Gender, Race, and Media Criticism.

12 PM

No Sessions - Lunch Break

1 PM

Safe Space Training

Justin Trice (He/Him)

MSU 223

Social Media Saviors: Women and the White Savior Complex

Melissa Stough (They/Them)

MSU 322

2 PM

LGBTQ&A

Justin Trice (He/Him)

MSU 223

Empowered Voices: Cultivating Accessible and Celebratory Neurodiverse Spaces

Robin Gow (They/Ze/He)

MSU 116

A Hypocritical Annexation: Black and Latine/x Culture in the LGBTQ Community

Tiersa Curry (She/Her)

MSU 312

3 PM

All Inclusive Sex Ed

Brit Barlup (She/They) & Bec Miller (She/They)

MSU 223

Queering Career Competencies & Success Skills

Bill Burden (He/Him)

MSU 322

Century of Change: Celebrating LGBTQ Creatives Who Paved the Way

Josh Ristovski (He/Him)

MSU 323

4 PM

Pride Around the World

Ryan Padovani (He/Him)

MSU 223

Sexual Health Scams that Target AFABs

Quinn Nuskey (They/Them)

MSU 312

Conference Program

Keynote: Doctor Jon Paul Higgins
12 pm - MSU 218

DoctorJonPaul is a speaker, writer, and social justice educator who focuses on issues related to gender, race, and media. Named Business Equality Magazine’s “Top 40 LGBTQ Under 40” for 2020, they have written for numerous media outlets including Complex Magazine, Out Magazine, Them, Essence, The Root, Blavity, MTV News and more. They have also been featured on sites like NBC News, Buzzfeed, Vox, and Attn:. Raised in San Bernardino, CA. DoctorJonPaul is committed to using their voice to highlight and bring focus to the issues that affect both the Black and LGBTQ communities at both a local and national level.

As a graduate from California State University, San Bernardino with a Bachelors of Arts in Communication Studies and a minor in Women’s Studies and a graduate from University of Redlands with both a Masters of Arts in 

Management and Doctorate in Educational Leadership, they aspire to be an example to those who seek to change the way we discuss the Black, queer experience. DoctorJonPaul is committed to not only being a voice for marginalized people, but more an inspiration. Since 2015 the have traveled to colleges and universities where they have provide both keynotes and trainings about how to better serve marginalized students. They have also worked with schools including Purdue University and Clayton State University to help restructure their Safe Zone program, and corporations including Instagram, Twitter, the NFL, Disney and Apple on equity and inclusion initiatives. In 2017, they gave their first TEDx talk on unlearning fear and reclaiming personal power, which has been viewed over 4,000 times.

They have since written over 100 articles about the Black, queer experience and published several chapters in books including, The Other F Word: A Celebration of the Fat & Fierce and Queer People of Color in Higher Education. DoctorJonPaul has been in writing journalism fellowship cohorts including Lambda Literary, Maynard and The Poynter Institute and currently studies comedy television writing as a fellow in Lena Waithe’s Hillman Grad Program. DoctorJonPaul is a current instructor at
University of Redlands and New York Film Academy, where they teach research and representation in television/film.

1pm

Safe Space Training

MSU 223

Session Description: 
The mission of the Kutztown University Safe Space Program is to provide education and resources to KU community members as a means to create a safe and nurturing environment that is free of discrimination based on sexual orientation, sexual identity, or gender identity.

Justin Trice - He/Him
Presenter Bio: 
Justin Trice is the Graduate Assistant for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Kutztown University and a student pursuing his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He hopes to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) working in private practice and specialize in the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community.

Social Media Saviors: Women and the White Savior Complex

MSU 322

Session Description: 
The White Savior Industrial Complex is a term coined by writer Teju Cole in 2012 in response to Jason Russell’s documentary, KONY 2012, which takes a “self-serving” perspective on activism and advocacy. Cole states that the White Savior Industrial Complex “is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege” (2012). The White Savior Industrial Complex permeates every aspect of our lives, and here I will connect the constructs of race and gender through this complex. Through an exploration of media and the impact it has on individuals, we see an overwhelming number of women actively participating in the White Savior Industrial Complex and how they remove agency from communities.

Melissa Stough (They/Them)
Presenter Bio: 
Melissa Stough (they/them) is studying English with minors in sociology and women’s, gender, and sexuality studies. They are planning to attend graduate school for student affairs administration with the hope of entering the educational policy realm. Throughout their work researching, they realized their passion for educational advocacy and equitable opportunities for marginalized student populations.


2 pm:  

Empowered Voices: Cultivating Accessible and Celebratory Neurodiverse Queer Spaces

MSU 116

Session Description: 

In this workshop we’ll explore what accessibility looks like for neurodivergent LGBTQIA+ people and how to uplift, empower, and celebrate neurodivergent LGBT community members. After learning about common experiences and barriers, we’ll delve into methods for mitigating those barriers in our own programs.

Robin Gow (They/Ze/He)

Presenter Bio: 

Robin Gow is an autistic trans and queer poet and educator from Kutztown, now living in Allentown where they work as the Supportive Services Coordinator at Bradbury-Sullivan LGBT Community Center. Robin has given trainings on creating more inclusive spaces for trans people to colleges,healthcare networks, and schools across the country. They are the author of three poetry collections, an essay collection, and a forthcoming Young Adult novel.

A Hypocritical Annexation: Black & Latine/x Culture in the LGBTQ+ Community

MSU 312

Session Description: 

This session will explore the intra-group conflicts within the LGBTQ+ community between those who identify as white and people of color, specifically Black and Latine/x individuals. It will also highlight the work of Black and Latine/x individuals in the cultural shaping of the LGBTQ+community.

Tiersa Curry (She/Her)

Presenter Bio: 

Tiersa Curry is a 2016 graduate of Muhlenberg High School. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Social Science from Reading Area Community College and is currently a senior at Kutztown University, majoring in anthropology and minoring in Spanish and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies.

LGBTQ&A

MSU 223

Session Description: 

The LGBTQ & A session will be presented as a panel and discussion on various queer identities. This session aims to provide insight into gender identity and sexual orientation by hosting a moderated discussion, and audience questions are encouraged.

Justin Trice (He/Him)

Presenter Bio: 

Justin Trice is the Graduate Assistant for the LGBTQ+ Resource Center at Kutztown University and a student pursuing his Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling. He hopes to become a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) working in private practice and specialize in the unique needs of the LGBTQ+ community.


3pm:

All Inclusive Sex Ed
MSU 223

Session Description: 
While high school Sex Ed courses are important, they also tend to be lacking in certain areas - specifically anything regarding the LGBTQ+ community. Come learn about the difference between sex and gender, the care and keeping of your intimate bits, surgeries and hormonal interventions for transgender/non-binary people, the different types of sexual interactions and how to stay safe and happy!

Brit Barlup (She/They) & Bec Miller (She/They)
Presenter Bios: 

Brit Barlup (she/they) is a graduate student in the Clinical & Mental Health Counseling program at Kutztown University. They graduated with a BS in Psychology from Kutztown in 2018. They currently work as a Graduate Assistant for the Women’s Center and LGBTQ+ Resource Center, as well as interning at the LGBT Center of Greater Reading. She hopes to find a job counseling within the LGBTQ community and continue her activism and advocacy work.

Bec Miller (she/they) is a graduate student in the Clinical & Mental Health Counseling program at Kutztown University. They graduated with a BS in Psychology from Kutztown in 2020. During her undergraduate years, she worked as an Undergraduate Assistant for the LGBTQ+ Center and Women’s Center, and served as president of Allies. They currently work as a Graduate Assistant for the Honors Program.

Queering Career Competencies and Success Skills
MSU 322

Session Description: 
This session will empower LGBTQ+ individuals to identify and describe the transferable skills and career competencies they have gained through their lived experiences.

Bill Burden (He/Him)
Presenter Bio: 
Bill Burden earned his M.Ed. in Higher Education Student Affairs from Kutztown University in 2017 and is excited to return his alma mater for the 5th Annual GSM Conference! He currently serves as an Associate Director of Career Education at Lehigh University and has a passion for working with students to identify and achieve their personal and professional goals. In his free time, Bill enjoys playing with his dogs (Lincoln and Helen), trying new restaurants with his husband (Scott), and creating art in many forms!

Century of Change: Celebrating LGBTQ Creatives Who Paved the Way
MSU 323

Session Description: 
In this session I will be discussing my academic research and process behind the creation of my propaganda inspired social justice posters celebrating exceptional LGBTQ Individuals who paved the way to the more mainstream acceptance we see today. I wanted to specifically focus on people who loudly and proudly present who they are, people who faced a lot of backlash and whose identities were considered scandalous to audiences of their time, and also to discuss how these people contributed to broader queer visibility and how that has impacted the mental health of LGBTQ youth.

Josh Ristovski (He/Him) 
Presenter Bio: 
Josh Ristovski is a Senior Student at Kutztown University studying in the Communication Design Program. He is an avid lover of fine arts as well graphic design and enjoys using these passions to celebrate the LGBTQ community. He was an avid participator in Kutztown’s FMLA , and also took on the role of graphic designer for the LGBTQ Resource Center, as well as the Women’s Center on campus.

4 PM:

Pride Around the World
MSU 223

Session Description: 
Pride Around the World is an exploration of how pride in one’s queer identity can affect mental health and how experiences of pride vary around the world. The presentation will explore the various sociopolitical and anthropological factors that determine what pride looks like and signifies in a community at a given time. The impact of commercialization on pride and the queer community at large will also be examined.

Ryan Padovani (He/Him)
Presenter Bio: 
Ryan Padovani is an undergraduate assistant at Kutztown University’s LGBTQ+ Resource Center. He is passionate about using his skills in writing and research to create greater understanding of issues relevant to marginalized communities like the LGBTQ+ community

Sexual Health Scams that Target AFABs
MSU 312

Session Description: 
Vaginal sexual health is something that can be a bit confusing at times, and many companies have tried to take advantage of that confusion. From the unusual to the downright dangerous, products and treatments have been marketed to AFAB people to cure problems that don’t even exist. Learn about these scams, how to tell the difference between sound medical advice and a trend, and how to take care of your sexual health.

Quinn Nuskey (They/Them)
Presenter Bios: 
Quinn is an Applied Digital Arts major at KU pursuing a career in concept art. They believe there isn’t enough conversation about the physical health of the sexes in a safe environment and wants to encourage what could normally be uncomfortable questions.