1. The process of making known one’s thoughts or feelings.
The Expressions group is a great opportunity for youth and families to talk, learn, and ask questions about sexuality and gender in a non-judgmental, safe, educational environment. We have created a space where youth can honestly communicate with one another, educate one another, and ask all questions.
As we know, we live in an ever-changing, diversified society and in Expressions we want the youth/families to learn and be aware of different identities, perspectives, and experiences. We will pursue and provide opportunities to learn about identities, sexualities, and genders, particularly ones that are marginalized, stigmatized, and largely silenced by the society we live in. In Expressions, we want to empower members to be personally invested in issues surrounding their gender and sexuality.
The activities are challenging by nature and challenges the youth/families social and moral upbringing. By design, some of the activities in the curriculum will make the group members uncomfortable, however, the group members will be allowed to choose the level of challenge they are ready and prepared to handle. The group members will be encouraged to challenge themselves and step outside their comfort zones and will be supported if discussions or activities are overwhelming. The facilitator’s job will be to lead discussions when necessary, sit back and listen, thought-provoking, and allow group members to learn from one another.
Using evidenced-based practice is critical to decision making regarding the care of youth and families. We have adapted Trauma-Focused Therapy to develop the outline for Expressions. The LGBTQ community experiences a wide range of trauma, particularly more than heterosexual youth that contributes to traumatic responses. Using the TF-CBT model will effectively address trauma impacts, cognitive and behavioral challenges, as well as improving participating parents/caregivers personal distress about trauma experiences, effective parenting skills, and supportive interactions with the youth.
If you have questions about the Expressions program, or would like to talk to us about a youth in need, please fill out our contact form or email Expressions! Director Shanae Frazier (pronouns she/her/hers) and we will respond promptly.
Becoming familiar with the terms used by the LGBTQ community can help you be a better ally. We’ve compiled a few that are relevant to the youth we serve. When reading this list please keep in mind that definitions vary across communities; there are terms not included in this list; terms and definitions change frequently. We will update this list to keep up with changing language.
Check out our National Coming Out Day Reading List!