Affinity Groups / Workshops / TED Talks  – Saturday Morning


Affinity Groups Sessions –  Saturday 8:30-9:50 a.m.

Saturday Morning of conference will begin with Affinity groups. This is a great opportunity to meet with a group of people who share commonality with your situation or place in your journey.   This is a chance for the trans people to meet the other trans people, for women to meet the other women, for parents to meet the other parents, and for church leaders to meet other church leaders. This was placed first thing Saturday morning so that connections can be made early on, and hopefully developed during the conference weekend.

The goals of the Affinity group sessions are to:

1) help people meet others in similar situations

2) provide a supportive experience….discuss pertinent topics…get to know each other

3) see if there is energy or interest in having more activities or expanding existing activities of support throughout the year

4) See if there are ideas on how to reach more people who need the support that your particular Affinity group offers.

Most of you will have to choose which Affinity group to attend, because many of you have more than one affinity. If you have to choose, consider attending one that might have a smaller crowd.  That way you might find that your presence and your ideas will have a heightened value.

Below is a list of the groups.  You will be asked to choose one when you register online for the conference. A couple weeks before the conference we will publish the list of those who will be leading each affinity session. If you want to get involved in helping shape the topics to be discussed, you can contact the leader of that group.

Affinity Groups:

  • Women
  • Men
  • Transgender
  • Bisexual
  • Parents, Families & Friends
  • Church Priesthood and Auxiliary Leaders
  • LGBT/SSA Youth
  • Faith Transition/Former Mormon
  • Millennials and University Students
  • LGBT Mormon People of Color & Allies
  • Mixed Orientation Marriages and Straight Spouses
  • LGBT Active Mormons (includes Prepare Facebook Group)

Our commonalities AND diversity are what make us an effective organization for the thousands of people worldwide who are looking for support in their journeys as LGBT Mormons, Families & Friends.  To learn more about these groups read this article on our website.

Workshops & TED Talks – 10:15 – 11:10 a.m. & 11:30 – 12:20

The workshops and TED talks will be held in two rounds following the Affinity Sessions on Saturday Morning.

10:15 – 11:10 a.m.

Workshop 1:  Special Session for Priesthood & Auxiliary Leaders: Creating a Welcoming Ward Environment for All (Bonneville Room)

by Jonathan Manwaring

This workshop will help local leaders understand how to utilize official Church resources to minister to the needs of their LGBT members and their loved ones.


Jonathan Manwaring

Workshop 2:  How to Begin to Reconcile Our Mormon and LGBT Experiences (Officers Club North Room)

by Judy Finch

This workshop will discus how to begin to reconcile the disparity between an LGBT member’s two essential parts (sexual orientation and spiritual aspirations). The discussion will focus on how these two aspects of ourselves are experienced as painful and largely hidden as the our coming out process is typically resisted and/or tested. The workshop will also explain the role of avoidance mechanisms that can lead to depression, anxiety and suicidality. The workshop will also suggest ways to begin to accept the disparity in one’s life and even integrate the two parts of one’s life, even while experiencing the fairly constant assault of religious/social messages to the contrary. Finally this workshop discuss how and when to re-evaluate assumptions and scrutinize the value of relationships and institutions in one’s life.


Judy Finch

Workshop 3:  How to Achieve an Integration of Our Mormon and LGBT Experiences (Officers Club South Room)

by Lisa Hansen

This workshop will help participants better understand how to “settle into” his or her own sexual orientation/spiritual aspiration journey and move more flexibly within the larger, often unaccepting, culture. Participants will learn how to commit to applying their values and strengths to helping others in their own journey and use his or her own experiences of as a source of power and inspiration to awakening the larger community toward building a healthy and sustainable integration of sexual orientation/gender identity and spiritual aspirations.

lisa hansen

Lisa Hansen

Five 10-Minute TED Talks (Douglas Ballroom)

Finding Our Personal “Why” as LGBT Mormons

Living life authentically as an LGBT Mormon requires an in-depth understanding of our personal “Why”

by Brady Emmett


Brady Emmett

Suicide Prevention in LGBT Mormons

I will tell you the one thing that everyone can do to help save the lives of our LGBTQ brothers and sisters who are suicidal

by Phil Rodgers


Phil Rodgers

Reconciling Mormon Doctrine and My Trans Status

I will share two defining moments in my life that set me on the path to lifting my cloud of confusion regarding LDS doctrine and my Trans status

by Paula Ison


Paula Ison

Using Critical Theory as a Source of Affirmation for LGBT Mormons

Using tenets drawn from liberation theology, queer theory, & post colonialism as a source of affirmation when you are an outlier in the faith

by Berta Marquez


Berta Marquez

Never Part from the Splendorous Light of Your Own Spirit (presented in Spanish)

A la Luz del Esplendor de Tu Propio Espíritu, escindirme nunca jamás

by Adrián Sánchez Román

Adryán Sán Román

11:30 – 12:20


REPEAT: How to Begin to Reconcile Our Mormon and LGBT Experiences (Officers Club North Room)

by Judy Finch

REPEAT: How to Achieve an Integration of Our Mormon and LGBT Experiences (Officers Club South Room)

by Lisa Hansen

REPEAT:  Special Session for Priesthood & Auxiliary Leaders: Creating a Welcoming Ward Environment for All (Bonneville Room)

by Jonathan Manwaring – This workshop will start at 11:45 after former Bishop Don Fletcher’s talk


Five 10-Minute TED-Style Talks (Douglas Ballroom)


Making Our Wards More “Gay Friendly

There is much that can be done to make our wards more “gay friendly”

by Donald C. Fletcher MD


Don Fletcher

Healing Hearts – Saving Lives

Enlightening Minds, Strengthening Families and Healing the Wounded Heart 

by Becky Mackintosh


Becky Mackintosh

“Everyday Theologies” of LGBT Mormons

I will present qualitative research findings from work I’ve done collecting the “everyday theologies” of LGBT Mormons, their families, and allies

by Devan M. Hite


Devan Hite

Finding ‘Middle Ground’ for LGBT Mormons in Mixed Orientation Marriages

Repressed and hiding in the proverbial closet, or “Out” and divorced, there just doesn’t seem to be much ‘middle ground’ for LGBT Mormons in Mixed Orientation Marriages–Affirmation’s new Affinity Group for MOMs is a place where couples can become affirming of all aspects of their shared lives

by Ron Raynes


Ron Raynes

How Straight Mormons Respond to their LGBT Loved Ones

How do Mormons think about and respond to their LGBT family and friends?  What does a Mormon LGBT ally look like? What do they think about their LGBT friends and family members? How do they feel about gay marriage? How have they been treated by church members and leaders? These and many other questions will be addressed based on the results of an extensive survey of Mormons who have LGBT family and friends.

by Bryce Cook


Bryce Cook