|Students, parents and professionals alike participating with YES Institute.|
Four groundbreaking courses on communication, gender and orientation topics welcomed over 70 diverse students and parents, as well as teaching, counseling and nursing professionals. Arriving from all compass points–including South Florida, North Carolina, New York University at Potsdam and Cuernavaca, México–the 7th annual Communicating Powerfully & ReVisioning Gender weekend delivered the YES Institute mainline curriculum in a back-to-back intensive format.
|Group breakout dialogue pods.|
The Gender Continuum course, Part 1 of the Gender/Orientation Series™, began and concluded with parents and their children shedding tears of struggle and triumph as they wrestled with binary concepts of gender given by our culture in one hand, and their authentic experiences of gender and love for their children in the other.
“This course brought me closer to my mom, and opened up a line of communication that was many years overdue,” reported Ian, a college student. Vivi, a high school student shared, “I learned that I am not the only one who is like myself,” after Evan, a YES Institute youth speaker, shared his harrowing recollection of the time he attempted suicide. When Evan learned that one person did care for him, it was enough to prevent an untimely fate. A Hispanic father commented, “This course was very powerful in every sense. The knowledge I gained will help me better support my son and better help educate others.” A mother wrote, “I previously questioned very young children questioning their gender–I now believe it is true and honest questioning.” Lydian, a college student observed, “This course left me feeling so full–I feel a change in the room after every course. It’s the change of love.”
|Brian, a high school student, impressed everyone with his courageous voice.|
Twenty university students from SUNY Potsdam engaged with other attendees at the Deciphering the Matrix of Orientation course, Part 2 of the Gender/Orientation Series™. “This was a great day to learn, think, and reflect on orientation and gender. Hearing the comments from students was insightful,” commented Prof. Ada Santaferra. A student remarked, “This day had a impact on me. I saw the pain the young people deal with all the time. This inspired me to work to make a difference.” Another student commented, “This course helped me understand what some of my future students may go through.” Another student quipped, “There is a lot more than just being gay or straight.”
Part 3 of the Gender/Orientation Series™ concluded with the Being & Belonging course. One student said, “I am now willing to be more vulnerable and not hide myself from other student peers who need someone to talk with.” A teacher added, “It’s so valuable to have an organization I can refer my students to for education.”
|Sky talking with Christie at Communication Solutions™.|