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NonBinary, GenderQueer, Gender-Fluid, and
other Gender NonConforming Folks: Speak Out! 

Jill Franco

Join us for a workshop/discussion about living outside the gender binary, including the following possible topics: identity, pronouns, coming out, defining (or not!) your gender and sexual/romantic orientation, dating, haircuts, talking to family/friends/teachers, self-care, community, feelings, fashion, media, culture, and the unique experiences of nonbinary and gender nonconforming folks, as well as anything YOU want to bring to the table. Attendees do NOT have to share if they don't want to (you can just come and listen!), and allies are welcome (to listen and respectfully ask questions in order to learn more about GNC/NB identities). The audience will decide the topics! (This is an expansion of and follow-up to last year's discussion.)

Language Matters: The Big Impact of the "Little" Things

Zaneta Rago-Craft/Rutgers Social Justice Education Center

The Language Matters presentation is an interactive program which deconstructs the ideas and impact that negatively charged words used in society and how their uses create a damaging environment for all of society. The presentation uses audience dialogue as well as video examples to demonstrate how macroaggressions hinder our ability to have a diverse and inclusive society/community.

What Next? Life After Transition

Anthony Mazakas

Trans people know that transitioning comes with a long line of things that need to be accomplished, but what comes next after all that is done? This workshop will detail that experience from the view of one trans person who has fully socially, legally, and medically transitioned. It will also offer resources to those looking to get to that point.

Make it Better for Youth

Kate Okeson

Led by Kate Okeson, educators will discuss challenges they face in the classroom when developing or implementing curriculum that is inclusive of LGBTQ persons and identities. The workshop will lead off with information on legislative efforts and connect participants to the wider team of educational professionals at different stages in development and implementation.

Building an accepting community: Asian America family acceptance

Aruna Rao/API Rainbow Parents, Desi Rainbow Parents

Asian American LGBTQ people often have to confront parents, family members and a community that does not understand contemporary sexual orientation and gender identity issues. Immigrant parents, many of whom were raised with a colonial legacy of homophobia and transphobia, find it difficult to accept their LGBTQ child. This intergenerational panel of Asian American adults and youth will discuss how parents, young adults and teens can have difficult conversations and maintain relationships with parents, extended family and community members.

Healthy Relationships

Dean Manning

Come join us for an informative exploration of subjects related to healthy and mutually supportive relationships including key topics such as: terminology, consent and communication, deconstructing stereotypes, sexual wellness, and intersectional considerations. Information will be followed by an opportunity for Q&A and discussion.

“Let’s Wait Awhile” Postponing Sexual Involvement

Perth Amboy HS Teen Pep

The goal of this workshop is to guide students in a decision-making process about becoming sexually involved that will allow them to reach their own conclusions. This will be an interactive workshop and students will participate in activities. Participants will discuss why teens have sex, why some wait, characteristics of a healthy couple, and learn skills necessary to negotiate difficult situations.

Coping with Bullying

Elian Rubin

The sad truth is that bullying happens, both in school and in the real world. To be prepared for life, in addition to working to stop bullying, kids must learn to live and cope with it. In this workshop, we will explore:

- How to cope with bullying so bullying won’t affect you for your entire life.

- How to tell the difference between meanness and bullying and deal with it in the appropriate way.

- Different ways of dealing with bullying and emotionally challenging situations in ways that won’t make it worse.

The solutions might be simpler than you might think.

Intersectionality 101

Katie Garner

People throw around a lot of words like intersectionality, privilege, and oppression. What do these words really mean?! This workshop is designed to give a moment to pause and equip people with definitions for these terms and to consider how their lives are impacted by these realities in our world.

ABC’s of Zen Meditation: Living Kindness Across the Gender Spectrum

John Marron

This workshop will cover the ABCs of Zen; Thjs will be done through teaching the basics of sitting quietly, breathing, posture, letting go of negative thinking, creating safe spaces to practice, cultivating a heart of wisdom and service, staying connected , There will be tips on being in the here and now with quality attention, especially in thie so-called “outside world.”


Guiding LGBTQ* Students Through the College Admissions Process

Stephani Fried, LPC- Your College Advisor-College Counseling Services

This workshop is designed to give LGBT* high school students an overview of the college admission process so that your needs are best supported on campus. We will discuss how to define LGBT friendly campuses, faculty, majors, clubs, and additional resources during your college search and application process. We will look at how to obtain best teacher recommendation letters, college visits, college resume-writing, and how to compose authentic college essays so you can tell your truth. Many more colleges are seeking an inclusive, diverse student body, while other schools aren’t quite there yet. Let’s learn about how you can discern between these two different campuses and choose the best fitting college for you.

Intersections of Identities: Multiple Minorities

Dr. Tyree Oredein/Garden State Equality

This workshop explores the intersections of multiple identities (i.e. race, gender & gender identity, sexual orientation, country of origin, religion, and/or ability), along with the challenges of having multiple minority identities. Together we will identify and discuss varying degrees of privilege as well as how to use our privilege for advocacy.

Keeping Kids Safe

Gordon Sauer

The 2016 election and the years following it have been one of the most contentious periods in U.S. history in which there has been a very concerning increase in HIB incidents across the country. Please join us for an open discussion of the current situation, our concerns, and the ways we can help our kids feel safe.

Looking at the Intersectionality of Race, Gender and Activism

Christine Hamlett & Kristofer Berrios

This dynamic workshop explores the Southern Poverty Law Centers’ 10 Ways to Fight Hate- Learn about the 10 ways to Fight Hate through open discussion and oral reading reviewing the principles for activism. You will be empowered and prepared to take activism steps to Rise -up when Hate/Violence comes to your school or community. Take Action- Join-us as you learn the personal experiences for activism from a Transgender Kean University Under grad Student. How did he do it? What challenges did he fight to be his authentic self?

Make It Happen At Your School: Ally Week, Day of Silence and More
Days of Action

Elyse Hazel

Create safer, more welcoming spaces in your school by bringing the GLSEN Days of Action to activate your GSA members and invigorate your allies. This workshop will offer lots of successful strategies and invite participants to share their experiences of making LGBTQ persons visible and respected in your school.

Building Communities Through Action In Local Politics

Richard Green/Middlesex County Democratic Organization LGBT Caucus

While it does not always seem possible, one voice can make a difference. This workshop hopes to be a beginner’s guide to becoming involved with local politics. Learn what it means to run for local office, work on a political campaign, be part of a committee in your district or town, organize events, and work with local officials to shape the community. Help shape the conversation about LGBTQ issues and concerns.

Faithful welcoming of LGBTQIA youth

Alexis Fuller-Wright and panel

Faith communities can plan a pivotal role for youth and their families. Sometimes it can be harder for LGBTQIA individuals to find their places in religious organizations, especially conservative faith-based families and communities.

LGBTQIA people and youth are often led to believe that they must choose between their gender identity, sexual orientation, and their spirituality. This panel discussion will counter that narrative with stories of how faith leaders work to welcome and invite people of all sexual orientation and identities into their faith community.

Dismantle Internalized Homophobia

Kasia Toczylowska/New Jersey Coalition to End Domestic Violence

This workshop will encourage members and allies, of the LGBT+ community, to recognize and examine the harmful impact Internalized Homophobia - and the preponderance of homophobic, biphobic, and transphobic messages - may have on one's own self image, as well as on one's own attitudes toward members of the LGBT+ community. Exercises and skills will be offered to challenge Internalized Homophobia and to take conscious action to recognize, acknowledge and interrupt all forms of oppression, and internalized oppression, as it affects all individuals.

Positive WLW Representation in YA Fiction, Media, and Pop Culture

Kristina Laya

Historically, men have been the face of the LGBT community and tend to get more recognition in the media. Women loving women (wlw) are now getting screen-time, but not all representation is good representation. With negative stereotypes and tropes such as “bury your gays”, it can be difficult, time-consuming, and even disappointing to find positive representation. This workshop will focus on wlw representation in today's society, address what makes representation "good," and include resources to finding more content.

How To Start A GSA or How to Keep It Going

Sue Henderson

Are you interested in starting a GSA and/or keeping one going? Sue Henderson has lots of great ideas to start this conversation up, and then participants will get to share their experiences in their GSA’s and how they keep them dynamic and engaged with the student body. This is a great workshop for anyone thinking of being or who is an officer in their GSA.


LGBTQ+ Teens Your Voice Counts! Advocacy and
Awareness of Sexual Violence

Kristine Raye
In this workshop participants will become empowered as they explore what LGBTQ+ sexual violence looks like among teens, learn how the laws in our state protects victims, and learn to become an advocate for victims.

My House Is Better Than Yours

Steph Salvador/BIO and BRCSJ

Which team can build the best house using only the materials provided? After completing your team challenge we will come together to discuss the problems encountered along the way, connect the process to real world issues, and brainstorm possible solutions to these problems. What will you do to make the world a better place?

Gender and Sexuality in the Middle School: Supporting the Middle School Student, Pros and Pitfalls

Jill Preis (she/her), Gabriel Rocha (he/him), Liana Romero (she/her)

Middle School GSA: pros and cons, pluses and pitfalls. Our panelists represent varying views on this topic, and we hope to share our experiences in starting and maintaining a middle school GSA and also to have workshop participants share their experiences, concerns, and questions.

Navigating Your T(ransition)

Ajani Walden

This interactive workshop is designed to be an open and candid dialogue about navigating the unique challenges young people may experience during transition. This workshop will provide a safe space for youth participants to share their personal experiences surrounding various aspects of transitioning socially, mentally, legally, and medically. We will also address identifying your ideal self and how to bring that to fruition.

Life after High school: How to thrive after graduation

Elyse Hazel and panel

Join LGBTQ college students as they discuss their experiences after graduating from high school. The panel will navigate the following topics: school, family, friends, relationships, jobs, and internships and being LGBTQ. Think of this as the ultimate guide on how to thrive after graduating.

You Didn’t Learn This in School: Historical & Prominent LGBTQ+ Figures

HiTOPS Teen Council :Laurel Peters-Acceus. Nadeen Elmostehi, Matt Heilbronn, Kelly Donnelly. Snehi Mukkamalla. Varsha Ayyalapu, Namitha Sethurman, Kimberly Rojas, Bhav Suri, & Ross Selby Salazar

Want to learn more about historical and prominent figures in the LGBTQ+ community? It’s no secret that we don’t do a good enough job talking about folks in the LGBTQ+ community in schools. Come to this interactive workshop to learn more about the people who helped fight for the lives of their community..

My Child or Student is Transgender, Now What?

Bobbie McArdle/PFLAG Jersey Shore

This workshop is for parents, educators, and allies of transgender/non-binary students. Hear from several PFLAG Jersey Shore families that have a trans child and how they provide support to their child in the medical, school, family, religious, and social settings. There will be time for questions, support, and discussion of your particular situation.

Letter to Myself

Kate Okeson

An introspective and creative approach to writing a letter to ourselves about where we are now and where we want to be in the future.

Creative postcard making and letter writing as a meditative moment in the day.

Know Your Rights: A Local Look at Protections for
LGBTQ+ Youth in New Jersey

Miro Bergam and GLSEN SHINE team

This workshop is an interactive look at the protections offered to LGBTQ+ students on a national and statewide level. It will take a broad look at the shifting rights of queer bodies under the Trump administration, as well as a more focused look at current New Jersey legislation on LGBTQ+ youth rights and inclusive curriculum. Led by LGBTQ+ youth, this workshop will be an incisive look at how to stay protected while taking action and exercising your rights.

South Asian LGBTQ Youth Victims of Violence

Satarupa Dasgupta and Chandana Guntupalli

For South Asian LGBTQ youth victims of violence, marginalization and oppressionfor their sexual orientation often intersect with racism, classism and xenophobia. Consequently, LGBTQ youth victims of South Asian origin mostly refrain from reporting their abuse.

The proposed workshop, which will involve a panel presentation and audience participation in the form of group discussions and activities, will discuss the cultural contextualization ofLGBTQ issues among the South Asian youth population, explore the barriers to disclosure andseeking services, and outline the strategies to provide culturally and linguistically appropriateways to promote awareness among this community. In addition, resources will be shared with the audiences at the workshop.

Finding Your Tribe: A Hosted Conversation

Rich Wilson/Stefani Hite

The workshop will use practices from the Art of Hosting Conversations That Matter, which are strategies to engage in conversation in ways that raise quiet voices, lower loud voices, and elicit the wisdom and knowledge of the group to solve complex issues. Most likely, we will begin with a circle check in, to invite participants into the conversation and then use a practice such as world cafe to create an opportunity for participants to share and learn from each other’s' experiences

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GLSEN Central New Jersey &
the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice
are proud to Present the
15th Annual GSA Forum
 Saturday 17 November from 9am – 4pm
Middletown High School South
900 Nutswamp Road, Middletown, New Jersey
The Forum brings together high school & middle school students, their advisors, allies,
parents & supporters for a day of
celebration, education, & networking.
More than 500 participants are expected to join together to express their pride & to gain renewed strength for themselves & their communities.



keynote speaker

“We are pleased to bring outstanding youth activist Gavin Grimm as keynote speaker for the conference,” stated Carol Watchler, co-coordinator of the Forum event.  “As a high school student Gavin brought a critical legal challenge to his school board rebuking their decision to disallow him to use bathroom facilities that comported with his gender identity.  He courageously took a groundbreaking step that inspires us all.”   His case moved through the federal court system all the way to the Supreme Court, which sent it back to the lower court in Virginia which then denied the school district's request to dismiss the case, agreed with the ACLU that the school violated the rights of transgender students under Title IX, & ordered a settlement conference. Gavin is still waiting to find out whether the school will try to appeal or settle the case.

Forum workshop topics will be targeted to the needs of high school & middle school students as well as school staff members, parents & other supporters. Included in the workshops are diverse subjects such as Youth leadership, GLSEN Days of Action, Planning your Future, Knowing your Rights, Middle school GSA’s, & specific workshops for GSA advisors, all school staff, & parents. Certificates of attendance for educators will be available.

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“The very existence of Gay Straight Alliances saves lives every day, both literally & figuratively. Sometimes, oft-times, this is what allows some students to get up in the morning, traverse those very intimidating hallways & make it through their sometimes, oft-times, very difficult days,” espouses Robt Seda-Schreiber, Chief Activist of the Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice, “GSA’s are love & love is contagious.”

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sponsored by transtrenderz

This year we are thrilled to present
our first-ever after-party
to allow all attendees to enjoy a
concert by BRCSJ house band, room 13

& Whilst here, please do poke around the rest of our site & see what the
Bayard Rustin Center for Social Justice
does & how we might be of service to you & yours!