Health/Wellness Workshops Recap

“AHP’s Health and Wellness Workshop series provides a space for LGBTQ people to gather and share ideas, make connections, create community and have some fun,” Director Lori Thoemmes observed. Then she paused and added, “All of us benefit from feeling known.”


AHP lost funding for its HIV prevention workshop series in 2011, but that did not stop us. AHP staff members agree; community building and outreach is vital to our mission of promoting the wellbeing of the LGBTQ community. So, in 2013, AHP hosted four events, all free and open to the public.

A sample of workshop participant reactions offers insights into why the series is so important. One participant commented, “It gave me hope to be authentic and open to new experiences.” Another said, I liked the “community-building . . . and acceptance.” A third celebrated the “real conversation and connection” she felt.

For those of you who missed them, here’s a summary of our 2013 Health and Wellness Workshop Series:

April – Body Image: A Workshop for Gay and Bisexual Men

Preoccupation with body image is primary for many gay and bisexual men. This workshop, facilitated by Groups and Workshops Coordinator John Tighe, LCSW, and Saul Laird, LCSW sought to help participants better understand the role body image plays in their well-being and to appreciate and accept their bodies, and ultimately, themselves. Twenty-seven men attended the workshop.

July – Mapping Our Desires: A Workshop on Abundance and Sexuality for LGBT Women

AHP’s first workshop for women, led by Clinical Social Worker, Julie Frank, LCSW and Sasha Goldberg provided an opportunity for 10 participants to share their thoughts and feelings on dating and relationships and to receive support from other LBTQ women.

October – Dating: Getting What We Want and Keeping it Simple

In this workshop, also facilitated by John Tighe and Saul Laird, 32 gay and bisexual men came together to discuss the challenges of dating and their struggles with isolation and loneliness.

November – Dating While Trans

The animated short film “Dating Sucks: A Genderqueer Misadventure” by Sam Berliner, provided an avenue to discuss dating as a transgender, transsexual, or genderqueer person. In a panel discussion moderated by Clinical Training Program Co-Coordinator Michelanne Baker, PsyD, Sam and three other panelists shared their experiences, and engaged in lively conversation with the more than 50 community members in attendance.

Thank you to all who participated. We hope to see you at more great workshops in 2014! To keep up to date with all of AHP’s upcoming events, “like” our Facebook page and check out our Events page.