BY BTL STAFF
FERNDALE – Stand With Trans — a nonprofit organization working to provide education, advocacy, mentorship, scholarship, empowerment and support to transgender youth and their families — will host a Youth Empowerment Workshop at Affirmations beginning at 9:15 a.m., Oct. 18.
The all-day workshop is free to attend for all trans youth between 12 and 23 years of age who want to participate in the first of its kind day of community, connection and creativity, all to empower trans youth to feel more confident as they navigate the beginning of adulthood.
Participants will have a chance to choose between eight different sessions including:
– Self-defense, taught by leading Psychiatrist and black belt, Leora Bar-Levav, and Richard Keith, parent advocate and Radix teacher.
– Self-reflection through fine art collage, led by certified art therapist and parent advocate, Kelly Darke.
– Feminization and masculinization vocal techniques facilitated by Calvin Murphy, trans man and FtM Detroit founding member.
– Style and gender expression with Riley Cooper, trans man and JCPenney men’s suit expert fitter, and Hannah Hartley, trans* woman and Gender Identity Network board president.
– Create your virtual reality with Blake Bonkowsky, EMU graduate student and trans man.
“We created this day so transgender youth would have the opportunity to connect with others who are traveling along a similar path. They need to know that they are not alone. Helping (trans) kids to feel more confident and to be proud of who they are will, in the long run, strengthen families and contribute to improved emotional well-being of the transgender youth community,” said Roz Keith, founder of Stand With Trans.
Parents are welcome to join the 3 p.m. sessions discussing trans rights, bullying, college and careers.
To sign up for the event, go to http://standwithtrans.org/empowerment_workshop/. Affirmations is located at 290 W. Nine Mile Road in Ferndale.