Fall 2021 LGBTQ+ Leadership Conference Schedule

9:30-9:55 AM                     

Opening Webinar with LGBTQ+ Leadership Steering Committee

Welcome message and discussion of what leadership means to our community. Additional acknowledgement of sponsors and members of the 2021 Leadership Conference Steering Committee. 


10:00-10:55 AM                 

“Category Is... LGBTQ+ Research!”

Hunter Scott, Dr. Briana McGeough, Nick Simko

This panel brings together scholars from diverse disciplines, ranging from cultural studies, social science, health, and photography, to showcase some of the research being done by and for LGBTQ+ people.  Hunter Scott’s work reevaluates the gay erotica of Tom of Finland, which reached popular height during the 1970s and 1980s, as radical queer art. In light of our contemporary moment marked by the rise of global fascism, white nationalism, and modern queer politics, Scott illustrates the limits of Tom of Finland’s art style as radical given its Nazi origins and emphasis on white, muscular, male normativity. Dr. Briana McGeough’s presentation exposes the limits of 12-Step programs as the most common source of support for people dealing with substance-related problems. McGeough examines SMART Recovery as a secular mutual help group alternative that may serve to meet the needs of some LGBTQ individuals who are underserved by 12-Step groups. Her research compares LGBTQ individuals’ experiences with 12-Step and SMART Recovery programs to identify factors that facilitate and inhibit initiating and sustaining involvement among sexual and gender minorities. And, finally, Nick Simko will present his photography work, “Queer Dimensionalities.” In this collection, Simko uses portraiture as a method to critically examine queer existence in rural Kansas, exploring cultural frameworks of authenticity and artifice, inside and outside, and what is said versus how it is said. He will discuss how he works to depict queerness in textural, spatial, and atmospheric ways.


11:00-11:55 AM 

“From Affirming to Advancing: Spiritual Support, Ethical Matters, and LGBTQ+ Church Leaders”

Rev. Seth Sonneville, Jacob McCarty, Pastor Shana Chivon, Pastor Scott Litwiller, Rev. Bev Baumgartner

This presentation will feature panelists working at the intersection of religion, spirituality, and LGBTQ+ affirmation. Sonneville will focus on mental health and spiritual support for transgender and gender non-conforming youth, especially those who experience a self-harming episode, which may have roots in discrimination and stigma founded in religious traditions or attributed to faith traditions. McCarty, Chivon, Litwiller, and Baumgartner—an intergenerational group of LGBTQ+ leaders from affirming Wichita Christian churches—will share their experiences and offer ideas for how churches can create cultures that advance the leadership and celebrate the gifts of LGBTQ+ humans.


12:00-1:00  PM         

Keynote: Dr. Tori Gleason DC, DACBSP

Coming home: finding your place and owning your truth

Dr. Gleason is certified by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians. She earned her chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic and then went on to earn her sports diplomate. She’s currently in the Master of Public Health program at the University of Kansas School of Medicine Wichita campus with a clinical focus on rural health access as well as health equity of LGBTQ+ populations. In addition to working with high school and college athletes, her clinical focus is on transgender andgender expansive patient populations. She has been in hospital governance and leadership the last 10 years with CenturaHealth –Goodland Regional Medical Center (GRMC) working in rural health and building a sustainable network of hospitals in the region. She has passion for serving in the diversity, equity, and inclusion space with GRMC, the Masonic Cancer Alliance and The University of Kansas Cancer Center, and the Equality Kansas Research and Education Foundation to develop and facilitate activities and programs to improve the quality of care for the health system. She leads the efforts in fostering diversity, inclusion, social justice, anti-discrimination, and accessibility to support the areas of teaching, research, and practice.


1:00-1:55 PM                     

Queer in STEM?: Prepare for a Career!”

Jessica Whyrick (oSTEM student organization)

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) professional spaces can be very competitive and cold, LGBTQ spaces are often collaborative and supportive. In this session, students interested in STEM majors, current undergraduate and graduate STEM students, K-12 educators, and others interested in supporting STEM students will learn about oSTEM (Out in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) and what it’s like to have a specific affinity group for queer STEM students. Hear from both graduate and undergraduate students about their experiences and learn: how students prepare for a career in STEM; how to survive challenging college courses; about local and national internship, career, and scholarship opportunities.


2:00-2:55 PM                     

Organizing for Queer Liberation in Kansas

Mariya Vaughn and The Flint Hills Human Rights Project

Bringing together members of the Flint Hills Human Rights Project, this panel will address what community organizing has looked like at the state and local level here in Kansas when we center queer liberation. Panel participants will discuss their work advocating for incarcerated LGBTQ Kansans and the need for care during COVID, their promotion of better quality trans healthcare, their attempts to protect trans kids from legislative attacks, and lobbying to prevent the passage of bills that would make it a felony here in Kansas for healthcare providers to access gender affirming care.


3:00-3:55  PM                   

“LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Healthcare in Kansas” 

Susan Rensing, Ph.D.; Tori Gleason, DC, DACBSP; Amanda Mogoi, MSN, APRN, FNP-C; Lacey Stewart, MS, LPCC (NM), LCPC (KS), NCC; and Tiasia Saunders, CHES.

This panel will discuss best practices for inclusion of LGBTQ+ people in healthcare settings in Kansas. Presenters will discuss rural outreach and access for LGBTQ+ people in Kansas, a mental health "bill of rights" for queer patients, and the importance of affirmative care in healthcare settings. 


4:00-4:55  PM                   

“Creating Safe Spaces for Queer Youth: Building and Maintaining LGBTQ+ Communities”

Finn Lanning, and Brian McCallum

This panel brings together queer program builders from Camp Sunflower, Inc. and Garden City Community College to discuss the logistic process of planning, organizing, programming, recruiting, and maintaining queer programs—from a summer camp to a student organization—the challenges and barriers, as well as the successes in creating safe spaces for queer youth. Ultimately this panel is a celebration of the bright future queer youth and college age students have across Kansas and specifically in rural areas of the state. This workshop is intended to equip other interested individuals to help fill the substantial need for additional programs for our queer young ones.


5:00-5:55  PM                   

Closing Keynote: Sharon Brett, ACLU of Kansas

LGBTQ+ Protections for Youth

This closing talk will present key areas of legal protections for LGBTQ+ youth, including the Title IX process and specific protections for trans youth under state and federal law.