More than 600 lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth will come together for the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center’s Models of Pride, the world’s largest free conference for LGBT youth (up to age 24), their straight allies and parents, and professionals who work with LGBT youth.
Hosted by the Center’s LifeWorks program, Models of Pride will take place on Saturday, Oct. 15 on the University of Southern California (USC) campus. The day will be packed with informative workshops, a resource fair and exciting entertainment.
Models of Pride is free for youth and parents; the cost for educators/professionals is $50. The day includes a continental breakfast, and lunch is provided.
The conference will begin at 8:30 a.m. and will include workshops on topics such as:
· Political activism
· Safer sex
· Cultural identity
· And much more!
Too many LGBT youth are isolated in their schools, where some face bullying and harassment—a problem that has come into public view following a series of tragic youth suicides. Models of Pride gives young people a safe place to meet others like themselves and to find out about resources that are available for them.
“When you’re young and just coming out, you feel isolated,” says Jordan Rada, 22. It’s really reassuring to go to Models of Pride and learn that there is this community of others with the same obstacles.”
This year, the rapidly growing event moves to the USC campus, where the LGBT Resource Center will serve as co-host. Moving to a more central location will make Models of Pride—which was previously held in Eagle Rock—more convenient for many Los Angeles youth. And moving to a larger venue gives the conference room to grow.
“It’s so exciting to see hundreds of youth come together to learn and to connect with one another,” says Michael Ferrera, director of the Center’s LifeWorks program. “And this is so important for them. At a time when too many LGBT youth are tormented by their peers, treated badly in their schools and rejected by their families, we’re able to offer them a truly safe space where they can be who they are.”
The youth development program LifeWorks is best known for its flagship mentoring program, which pairs LGBT youth with trained adult mentors. LifeWorks also offers social activities, after-school programming and many other services. In conjunction with Opportunities for Learning, it even operates a charter school for youth who have faced discrimination and harassment at traditional schools.
For more information about Models of Pride, or to register, go to www.modelsofpride.org. For more information about LifeWorks, go to www.lifeworksla.org.
WHAT: Models of Pride 19–The world’s largest conference free for LGBT youth. The free conference includes a full day of workshops, entertainment and more.
WHEN: Saturday, Oct. 15
8:30 a.m.-9 p.m.
WHERE: University of Southern California
Exposition Boulevard & S. Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90089
COST: FREE for LGBT and ally youth and parents; $50 for service provider track
INFO.: For more information and to register for Models of Pride, go to www.modelsofpride.org.
(This informational article was courtesy of the L.A. Gay & Lesbian Center.)