In the next month, I will be making presentations in Austin, MN and Boston, MA. Both are parts of conferences/conventions that require registration fees (and travel, for most people), but if you will be attending one of these events, I would love to meet you. Also, if an educator or parent you know might be going, let them know that my sessions could provide them with useful information.
June 8 – 12, Hormel Foundation Symposium on Gifted Education, Austin, MN
Presentation scheduled for Wednesday, June 11, at 8:30 a.m.
July 2 – 6, American Mensa Annual Gathering, Boston, MA
Presentation scheduled for Friday, July 4, at 10:30 a.m.
The topic for both of these will be essentially the same: “Supporting the Unique Needs of Gifted-GLBTQ Youth,” but the presentations will vary slightly, due to different target audiences. The first will be geared toward educators, school counselors, and administrators. The second will be directed at parents and GLBTQ youth themselves.
I am honored to have the opportunity to talk with these groups on this important topic!
Reminder for parents
Today, I heard about a young person whose parents are convinced that the sexuality their child shared with them is just a phase. They refuse to let this youth participate in any activities–including relationships–that acknowledge or support the kid’s identity.
I am always shocked (but not necessarily surprised) when I find out about adults treating their kids this way. One analogy that comes to mind is the way that parents and teachers used to force left-handed children (gee–I’m one of those, too!) to write with their right hands. Why would anyone who truly cares about a young person require that kid to:
- pretend to be something s/he is not
- experience pain in the process
- deny her/his authentic self
- possibly suffer long-term psychological harm
…especially when those requirements potentially risk driving a wedge in a relationship–one that could last a lifetime?
Parents who might read this and wonder about the legitimacy of your kid’s identity–please leave that to your son or daughter to determine. Please respect what they have honored you by sharing with you and figure out how to support them, not thwart who they are.
This is so important.