Minding Your Health – Feb. 27 Workshop to Explore the LGBTQIA Community’s Changing Identity

How we see ourselves in the world and in relation to others is key to forming an identity. As awareness of the diversity of our community grows, ideas of what it means to be LGBTQIA are changing rapidly. Recognizing this shift, the LGBT Affirmative Therapists Guild will present a daylong workshop titled “The Changing Identity of the LGBTQIA Community” on Saturday, Feb. 27.
The workshop will be an opportunity to explore with others the various aspects of identity, including, but not limited to, sexual orientation, gender identity, culture, race, ethnicity, age, social class, and spirituality. The LGBT Guild wants the session to bring community members and counselors, social workers and psychologists together to share information and ideas.
The day begins at 8 a.m. with registration and a continental breakfast. At 9 a.m., Ashley Baker, assistant professor of sociology and social work, will give the keynote, titled “The Power and Purpose of Identity.” Baker, as she prefers to be called, works in the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice at Simpson College in Iowa. She will talk about the various aspects that influence one’s identity, such as sexual orientation, gender identity, spirituality, ethnicity, race and age. She will also address the messages that we as individuals receive from the larger culture about our identity and how we can start a conversation with others about what our identity means to us. After the keynote, attendees will break into small groups for discussion about Baker’s presentation.
During lunch, Jason Hughes, a provisionally licensed professional counselor, will share his humorous take on a straight man’s growing awareness and appreciation for the rich diversity of the LGBTQIA community.
In an afternoon session, five activists and people of color will offer insight into how to address race in a caring and culturally competent manner. Race is an often-overlooked issue in the LGBTQIA community, but it’s a profound part of one’s identity. The session is designed to help community members who might be hesitant to address race for fear of offending someone or appearing insensitive.

The day will end with Kansas City psychologist and psychoanalyst David Donovan and entrepreneur Lance Pierce discussing identity development in the therapy setting.
The workshop will be at the Diastole Scholars’ Center on Hospital Hill, 2501 Holmes St., Kansas City, Mo. Tickets are $25 for community members and students and $89 for providers wanting continuing education credits. Covered costs include conference materials, breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the day. Space is limited to 65 participants, so reserve your place soon.
To register, visit www.eventbrite.com. For more information, email Kyle Danner at [email protected].
Kyle Danner is an organizer for the LGBT-Affirmative Therapists Guild of Greater Kansas City (www.lgbtguild.com). He received a master’s degree in counseling and guidance from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.