A Florida church is hosting a “Youth Pride Conference” with an LGBT advocacy group Saturday that will feature a drag show for students as young as 12.
The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) is hosting the one-day conference at Naples United Church of Christ (Naples UCC) on May 21, according to a flyer for the event on GLSEN’s website.
The event will feature a “drag show” and panel discussions on topics including sex education and political advocacy, according to the conference’s Eventbrite page.
The Eventbrite page states that the “Youth Pride Conference” is organized “by and for LGBTQ youth,” and the drag show will feature “local drag queens.”
“This one-day conference is created by and for LGBTQ youth seeking to explore LGBTQ-related issues they face today,” says the Eventbrite page.
“Isaac Salazar will deliver the keynote address. Isaac is a young and passionate advocate in the LGBTQ Community. He is the Outreach and Education Coordinator for Zebra Coalition in Orlando. There will also be a panel discussion with former high school students talking about life in the LGBTQ community after high school,” the website states.
According to the events page, students in attendance will choose from multiple breakout sessions, including:
- Mental Health: Coping Strategies (Logan Bell, Sigma Centrum Counseling)
- Mental Health: Gender Dysphoria (Abby Pitts, LMHC)
- Forbidden Queer Literature(Via Lipman and Hornet Bosa, GLSEN Collier Shine Team)
- Gender & Biology (Beth Barrus, biology teacher)
- Sexuality & Science (Laura Panek, evolutionary biologist)
- Inclusive Sex Education (Kathryn Ross, Planned Parenthood, Southwest & Central Florida)
- Intersectionality & Prejudices within the Community (Andre Sanchez-Cardona, Equality Florida Youth Leadership Council)
- Political Action & Advocacy (Lakey Love, Florida Coalition for Trans Liberation)
- Navigating a Religious Identity (Rev. Christy Holden, FGCU)
- Coming Out Story (Marianne and Imogen Lambertson)
- Homeless & Foster Youth (Stephanie Burns, Child Advocate Manager)
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ Press Secretary, Christina Pushaw, shared a report on Twitter by the news outlet Florida’s Voice that indicated the organizers planned to use the parking lots at local schools for free shuttle transportation to the conference.
But the school district shot dow this plan, saying, “The District was never informed nor contacted about this event,” the district said. “[Collier County Public Schools] is not a sponsor of the event, which is being held at a private facility. CCPS also neither authorized nor approved the transportation of CCPS students to and from district school sites by the event organizers. Any inference to the contrary is fully rejected by CCPS.”
“To this end, CCPS has spoken with the event organizer and explained that the information on the registration form, and any associated flyer, must be immediately corrected to reflect that CCPS is not a co-sponsor nor will it allow its school sites to be used as transit points for the pickup and drop-off of students for this event,” the district added.