Many people recently gathered at the Scott Galvin Community Center in North Miami to welcome back TransCon, a conference aimed towards the transgender and non-binary community in South Florida.
It provided visitors with a safe space for a day.
Hosted by the Aqua Foundation for Women on Sept. 9, the conference featured many
workshops and panels that focused on health, education and self growth. Dr. Natasha Poulopoulos, a LGBTQ+ health expert, was also present and covered topics including youth gender and sexual diversity.
“My hope is that legislation leans on the experts,” said Poulopoulos, “ones who confirm that gender-affirming and inclusive spaces increase belonging and reduce mental health disparities among LGBTQ+ youth.”
Booths were also available throughout the conference where attendees could learn more about resources in the community. There was even a gender affirming closet hosted by FIU’s Pride Student Union. Attendee’s could obtain gender-affirming garments and clothes for them to keep.
However, it has become more difficult to provide these resources because Florida legislators have passed measures tyhat have included restricting access to gender-affirming healthcare.
“Laws can ban the care and the funding, but it can never erase the LGBTQ+ community,” PSU President Kaily LaChapelle said. “In the last few years the Florida community has gone so strong. Events like this are lifesaving.”