Month: March 2017

Rainbow Toastmasters

Recently, I was invited to The SF Rainbow Toastmasters.  It was a fun-filled evening as members presented and critiqued three speeches.  In addition, there was a round of table topics where members stand up and have 1-2 minutes to offer their best to response to impromptu topics.

We sat down with Rainbow Toastmaster, Michael Platania to learn more.

Rainbow Toastmasters

How did the Rainbow Toastmasters begin?

Ken Stram was the founder. He started the club about six or seven years ago. He was the Economic Development Director at the SF LGBT Center and thought this would be a good program to have. He eventually left the center and Rainbow, but we are very excited that he has recently rejoined Rainbow!

Why an LGBT chapter?

To give us a safe space to speak and share our stories without fear or worry about what we say.

I’ve been to a lot of other toastmaster clubs, many are very good, but none quite like the group at Rainbow. We have had many guests visit us from other clubs, who also say Rainbow is unique in Toastmasters.

What does a member experience in Toastmasters?

You learn how to be a better communicator and how to be a better leader. It is a self-paced program, so everyone gets to learn and progress at their own pace. One of the unique parts of the toastmaster experience is the supportive, encouraging atmosphere. It’s all about building people up, focusing on their strengths.

Is Toastmaster a level like a black belt? Does one earn their Toastmaster status?

Yes, there are various levels. The first in “Competent Communicator” which is achieved after giving your first 10 speeches. There is also a “Competent Leader”, after filling a certain number of roles at meetings. (every meeting has a variety or roles – speakers, times, evaluators, etc) From there, you go on to a Bronze level, Silver Level, and ultimately DTM (Distinguished Toastmaster) – the top level. Many people, once they achieve their DTM, then start all over and go through the process again. Some people are working on their 2nd or 3rd DTM.

Sounds like grad school

hehe – for some it can be. The people who are on their DTM are very motivated. Some people just do a few speeches.

What about the contests?

We have contests twice a year – one in the spring and one in the fall. The fall contest is a humorous speech contest, and an evaluation contest (evaluating a speech). When someone wins at the club level, they proceed to the Area Contest (an area is 4-5 clubs). From there is the Division Contest (a division is 4-5 areas) and from there to the district contest. We are in District D – from SF to Monterey.

In the spring is the International speech contest which involves winning speakers from around the world competing. This year, it will the International contest will be held in August, at the international convention in Orlando.

Have you had Rainbow members go onto upper-level contests and how have they done?

In 2010, I made it to the District Humorous Speech contest. There were eight competitors from the District – I did not make it into the final three. We’ve had others get to Area and Division levels, but I think I am the only one that made it to the District.

Rainbow Toastmaster Mike Barsul was the 2010-2011 (our calendar year is July 1 to June 30) District Governor. He is now running to be on the Toastmaster International Board of Directors, representing Region 2 – the Pacific Northwest). The election will take place at the International Convention in Orlando, in August.

If someone is interested but afraid of public speaking, what advice would you offer?

Come check us out. You can just sit and watch, have a fun night, maybe learn something, without any pressure or obligation.

If someone wants to learn more?

They should come check out a meeting. It’s free and all they have to do is show up – no prior registration is needed. They can observe how the club work and have some fun without any obligation or commitment or need to speak. If they have questions, they can email to us info@rainbowtoastmasters.org

Are there any other LGBT Toastmaster Chapters?

I know there is a LGBT chapter in New York Pride Toastmasters www.pridetoastmasters.com/– probably a few others but not sure. Also, people can check out our website rainbowtoastmaster.org, or for more general info – toastmasters.org website.

Rainbow Toastmasters San Francisco

The post Rainbow Toastmasters appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Gay Heroes and LGBT Comics

Introducing LGBTQ heroes

GAYSAR Comics is a company that has created a line of gay heroes with the purpose to not only entertain the public, but also raise awareness and to fight for gay rights. The first comic book entitled “The Cure” will be released on November 7th and will have a cost of $4.99 a copy. While they will only be publishing their first issue, GAYSAR Comics has already created a wide variety of gay heroes.

Gay Heroes and LGBT Comics

Gay Heroes and LGBT Comics

A representative from GAYSAR Comics was quoted as saying, “At GAYSAR Comics, we have created gay characters with special powers known as gay-heroes. They may be fictional, but they will help create real life heroes. How? GAYSAR will donate 2% of  comic book issue sales to international and national gay nonprofit organizations.”
Though the characters and story lines may be fictional, they are based on the life experiences of our LGBTQ community. Before each of the characters were created, representatives from GAYSAR Comics met with high school students members of the LGBTQ community to discuss various issues that they face on a daily basis. Many of these issues and discussions inspired the stories in the GAYSAR Universe.

“Each character represents current issues that affect each of us, inside and outside of our community. For example, transgender issues; what these people are going through and what they have to face in a daily basic. Also, in Uganda gay people are being punished with life imprisonment or with death penalty. Kids in Honduras are exploited and used by drug cartels. The global political issues we cover also include social justice, AIDS/HIV, love, awareness, and acceptance.”says a representative from GAYSAR Comics.

Some of the unique gay heroes created by GAYSAR include: Dr. Neveah, a transgender super genius who can  transform into other people. Eron, a latino hero whose brain gives him the power to do unexplainable things; his overall skills become limitless as his brain percentage goes up. Queen Izar a Drag who has the power to give and take life. Nami, a twink who can communicate and become one with technology. Kian, a gay bear motivational speaker for the gay community who has the strength and senses of a bear. Jaseri, a lesbian who has the ability to control the elements of nature. GAYSAR attempts to represent all the members of the gay community such as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers, and sub-community as Bigender, Leather, Butch, Bear and Drag Queen.

In order to find out more about GAYSAR comics, their unique brand of gay heroes, about the goals that the company is trying to reach, or to learn how to get a copy of their first issued comic, visit their website right here. GAYSAR Comics, has also launched an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to give the first comic book a collection item to those who contribute. If you would like to be part of the success of GAYSAR in our community, please share or contribute here to the campaign and help towards the dream of many LGBTQ artists.

Also, to find out which gay-hero are you with a fun game, click here.

The post Gay Heroes and LGBT Comics appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Day of Silence 2017

Day of Silence – GLSEN’s Day of Silence is a student-led national event organized in thousands of schools, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ. Apr 21, 2017

Day of Silence 2017

GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a small, but dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.

Over 25 years later, that small group has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

We face a pervasive problem with a set of new challenges. 8 out of 10 LGBT students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are.

We are working to change that.

At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country — from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community — to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.

  • We conduct extensive and original research to inform our evidence-based solutions for K-12 education.
  • We author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.
  • We partner with decision makers to ensure that comprehensive and inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented.
  • We partner with dozens of national education organizations to leverage our shared expertise into creating great schools and better opportunities for every student.
  • We empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities.

Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.


Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is the celebration of who we are.  Pride allows us to take a stand against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increased visibility, build community while we celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

If your event is not listed, just drop us an email to info@seasonsofpride.com

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans | Youth


Gay Pride 2017

Jan – Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | SeptOct | Nov – Dec

Day of Silence 2017

The post Day of Silence 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Day of Silence 2017

Day of Silence – GLSEN’s Day of Silence is a student-led national event organized in thousands of schools, bringing awareness to the silencing effects of anti-LGBTQ name-calling, bullying, and harassment in schools. Students from middle school to college take a vow of silence in an effort to encourage schools and classmates to address the problem of anti-LGBTQ behavior by illustrating the silencing effect of bullying and harassment on LGBTQ students and those perceived to be LGBTQ. Apr 21, 2017

Day of Silence 2017

GLSEN (pronounced “glisten”) was founded in 1990 by a small, but dedicated group of teachers in Massachusetts who came together to improve an education system that too frequently allows its lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ) students to be bullied, discriminated against, or fall through the cracks.

Over 25 years later, that small group has grown into the leading national education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students.

We face a pervasive problem with a set of new challenges. 8 out of 10 LGBT students are still harassed at school each year because of who they are.

We are working to change that.

At GLSEN, we want every student, in every school, to be valued and treated with respect, regardless of their sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. We believe that all students deserve a safe and affirming school environment where they can learn and grow.

We accomplish our goals by working in hallways across the country — from Congress and the Department of Education to schools and district offices in your community — to improve school climate and champion LGBT issues in K-12 education.

  • We conduct extensive and original research to inform our evidence-based solutions for K-12 education.
  • We author developmentally appropriate resources for educators to use throughout their school community.
  • We partner with decision makers to ensure that comprehensive and inclusive safe schools policies are considered, passed and implemented.
  • We partner with dozens of national education organizations to leverage our shared expertise into creating great schools and better opportunities for every student.
  • We empower students to affect change by supporting student-led efforts to positively impact their own schools and local communities.

Every day GLSEN works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together, we can transform our nation’s K-12 schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.


Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is the celebration of who we are.  Pride allows us to take a stand against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increased visibility, build community while we celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

If your event is not listed, just drop us an email to info@seasonsofpride.com

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans | Youth


Gay Pride 2017

Jan – Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | SeptOct | Nov – Dec

Day of Silence 2017

The post Day of Silence 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Queer and Comics 2017

LGBTQ Cartoonists and Comics Conference – Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Monreal, San Francisco, CA; Apr 14-15, 2017

Queer and Comics 2017

Queers & Comics is the first-ever university-based LGBTQ comics conference. Queer comics offer readers a unique visual literature that reflects and critiques queer culture. The Queers & Comics Conference brings US and international LGBTQ cartoonists, comics writers, and artists together with scholars and fans in order to document the history and significance of queer comics.

The conference format allows participants an opportunity to document the history and significance of LGBTQ comics, discuss the craft of cartooning, and promote queer creators in the comics industry in an intellectual and education capacity, and provides queer cartoonists a unique environment to learn from each other and to inspire exciting future work.

The first Queers & Comics Conference was created and organized by cartoonist Jennifer Camper – assisted greatly by andré carrington (CLAGS Board Member), the CLAGS staff, Prism Comics, and many volunteers.

The inaugural Queers & Comics Conference was presented on May 7-8, 2015 by CLAGS (Center for LGBTQ Studies) at The Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York City and hosted renowned keynotes Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby, Gay Comics) and Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home).

The profound success of the first Queers & Comics Conference demonstrates the need for future conferences. Presenting the conference in different geographic locations provides more cartoonists and scholars an opportunity to attend. The San Francisco Bay Area has a long cartooning history, active comics and scholarly communities, and a vibrant LGBTQ population.

California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA, is thrilled to host the 2nd biennial Queers & Comics Conference in April 2017.


Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is the celebration of who we are.  Pride allows us to take a stand against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increased visibility, build community while we celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

If your event is not listed, just drop us an email to info@seasonsofpride.com

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans | Youth

Gay Pride 2017

Jan – Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | SeptOct | Nov – Dec

Queer and Comics 2017

The post Queer and Comics 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Queer and Comics 2017

LGBTQ Cartoonists and Comics Conference – Queers & Comics features two days of discussion panels, workshops, readings, and comics galore, along with a multitude of off-site events. This year we will spotlight international and emerging LGBTQ cartoonists, the role of the San Francisco Bay Area, and the future of queer comics. Monreal, San Francisco, CA; Apr 14-15, 2017

Queer and Comics 2017

Queers & Comics is the first-ever university-based LGBTQ comics conference. Queer comics offer readers a unique visual literature that reflects and critiques queer culture. The Queers & Comics Conference brings US and international LGBTQ cartoonists, comics writers, and artists together with scholars and fans in order to document the history and significance of queer comics.

The conference format allows participants an opportunity to document the history and significance of LGBTQ comics, discuss the craft of cartooning, and promote queer creators in the comics industry in an intellectual and education capacity, and provides queer cartoonists a unique environment to learn from each other and to inspire exciting future work.

The first Queers & Comics Conference was created and organized by cartoonist Jennifer Camper – assisted greatly by andré carrington (CLAGS Board Member), the CLAGS staff, Prism Comics, and many volunteers.

The inaugural Queers & Comics Conference was presented on May 7-8, 2015 by CLAGS (Center for LGBTQ Studies) at The Graduate Center, CUNY, in New York City and hosted renowned keynotes Howard Cruse (Stuck Rubber Baby, Gay Comics) and Alison Bechdel (Dykes to Watch Out For, Fun Home).

The profound success of the first Queers & Comics Conference demonstrates the need for future conferences. Presenting the conference in different geographic locations provides more cartoonists and scholars an opportunity to attend. The San Francisco Bay Area has a long cartooning history, active comics and scholarly communities, and a vibrant LGBTQ population.

California College of the Arts in San Francisco, CA, is thrilled to host the 2nd biennial Queers & Comics Conference in April 2017.


Gay Pride or LGBT Pride is the celebration of who we are.  Pride allows us to take a stand against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people and to promote self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increased visibility, build community while we celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

If your event is not listed, just drop us an email to info@seasonsofpride.com

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans | Youth

Gay Pride 2017

Jan – Mar | Apr | May | Jun | Jul | Aug | SeptOct | Nov – Dec

Queer and Comics 2017

The post Queer and Comics 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017 – Conference is a unique chance to hear from inspiring people like Robert Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, and Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London. Our speakers bring our work to life and empower our audiences to create change.  London, UK; Apr 7, 2017

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017

People perform better when they can be themselves.

Join over 800 delegates at our CPD-accredited conference in London on Friday 7 April, kindly supported by EY.

Why attend?

Learn best practice

View this year’s breakout sessions

  • We have 21 breakout sessions lead by inclusion specialists. New content this year includes sessions on working in Asia and supporting your bi staff.
  • For the first time, we will have streams on working globally and supporting your trans staff, as well as a stream of senior leaders.
  • Delegates leave with an action plan and access to the latest Stonewall research and resources.

Expand your network

  • Connect with professionals from all sectors committed to equality.
  • Share expertise with top organizations and leading LGBT networks.
  • Learn more about Stonewall’s resources and campaigns and how to use them in your organization.

Be inspired

The conference is a unique chance to hear from inspiring people like Robert Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, and Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London. Our speakers bring our work to life and empower our audiences to create change.


LGBTQ Conferences bringing together thousands of openly LGBTQ leaders in government, health, advocacy, business and community organizations.

Is your event not listed?  Send us an email

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans

The post Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017 – Conference is a unique chance to hear from inspiring people like Robert Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, and Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London. Our speakers bring our work to life and empower our audiences to create change.  London, UK; Apr 7, 2017

Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017

People perform better when they can be themselves.

Join over 800 delegates at our CPD-accredited conference in London on Friday 7 April, kindly supported by EY.

Why attend?

Learn best practice

View this year’s breakout sessions

  • We have 21 breakout sessions lead by inclusion specialists. New content this year includes sessions on working in Asia and supporting your bi staff.
  • For the first time, we will have streams on working globally and supporting your trans staff, as well as a stream of senior leaders.
  • Delegates leave with an action plan and access to the latest Stonewall research and resources.

Expand your network

  • Connect with professionals from all sectors committed to equality.
  • Share expertise with top organizations and leading LGBT networks.
  • Learn more about Stonewall’s resources and campaigns and how to use them in your organization.

Be inspired

The conference is a unique chance to hear from inspiring people like Robert Hannigan, Director of GCHQ, and Inga Beale, CEO of Lloyd’s of London. Our speakers bring our work to life and empower our audiences to create change.


LGBTQ Conferences bringing together thousands of openly LGBTQ leaders in government, health, advocacy, business and community organizations.

Is your event not listed?  Send us an email

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans

The post Stonewall Workplace Conference London 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Northeast LGBT Conference 2017

Northeast LGBT Conference – The University at Albany, State University of New York, is proud to host the 20th Annual Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender College Conference! Albany, NY; Apr 1-3, 2017

Northeast LGBT Conference 2017

The Northeast LGBT College Conference works through education, collaboration, and deliberate dialogue to fight all forms of Racism, Ableism, Classism, Sexism and Heterosexism in our society in order to provide a more supportive and better affirming environment for all Students, Faculty and Staff on college campuses across the Northeast. We believe in Campus Pride and share in the vision for campuses and a society free of anti-LGBTQ* prejudice, bigotry, and hate.

To these ends, the NELGBTC is a student founded, funded and run conference since 1995. To this end, the Northeast LGBT* College Conference serves to highlight and celebrate Colleges and Universities working to provide an affirming educational environment for all students. By connecting with local, regional and national activists and organizations to bring LGBT* and allied college students, advisors and administrators in the Northeast together to share best practices, programs, policies, and resources.

In order to stay true to our mission, and the groups we serve, the NELGBTC Oversight Board works with student leaders and administrators to bring this AMAZING conference to their campus as a host institution. The conference comes with the majority of funding from student registration and from some annual sponsors. Every campus host has its own unique opportunities, gifts, and challenges. We work with you every step of the way to make sure this is a great experience.

Host submissions are on a rolling basis. Submitting this form is not an agreement to host but shows interest, all host cities must be within the Northeast as defined by the US Census (Maine to Washington DC)

Host cities have reported the following benefits from their experience: Leadership experience for students, increased on-campus student involvement (year of and years after), increased on-campus awareness for LGBTQ inclusion (for students and administrators), $30-$60,000 economic impact to your campus and surrounding community, networking, jobs/internships, new student recruitment, alumni engagement, coalitions , national speakers and recognition. And MUCH MUCH MORE


LGBTQ Conferences bringing together thousands of openly LGBTQ leaders in government, health, advocacy, business and community organizations.

Is your event not listed?  Send us an email

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans

The post Northeast LGBT Conference 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

Northeast LGBT Conference 2017

Northeast LGBT Conference – The University at Albany, State University of New York, is proud to host the 20th Annual Northeast Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender College Conference! Albany, NY; Apr 1-3, 2017

Northeast LGBT Conference 2017

The Northeast LGBT College Conference works through education, collaboration, and deliberate dialogue to fight all forms of Racism, Ableism, Classism, Sexism and Heterosexism in our society in order to provide a more supportive and better affirming environment for all Students, Faculty and Staff on college campuses across the Northeast. We believe in Campus Pride and share in the vision for campuses and a society free of anti-LGBTQ* prejudice, bigotry, and hate.

To these ends, the NELGBTC is a student founded, funded and run conference since 1995. To this end, the Northeast LGBT* College Conference serves to highlight and celebrate Colleges and Universities working to provide an affirming educational environment for all students. By connecting with local, regional and national activists and organizations to bring LGBT* and allied college students, advisors and administrators in the Northeast together to share best practices, programs, policies, and resources.

In order to stay true to our mission, and the groups we serve, the NELGBTC Oversight Board works with student leaders and administrators to bring this AMAZING conference to their campus as a host institution. The conference comes with the majority of funding from student registration and from some annual sponsors. Every campus host has its own unique opportunities, gifts, and challenges. We work with you every step of the way to make sure this is a great experience.

Host submissions are on a rolling basis. Submitting this form is not an agreement to host but shows interest, all host cities must be within the Northeast as defined by the US Census (Maine to Washington DC)

Host cities have reported the following benefits from their experience: Leadership experience for students, increased on-campus student involvement (year of and years after), increased on-campus awareness for LGBTQ inclusion (for students and administrators), $30-$60,000 economic impact to your campus and surrounding community, networking, jobs/internships, new student recruitment, alumni engagement, coalitions , national speakers and recognition. And MUCH MUCH MORE


LGBTQ Conferences bringing together thousands of openly LGBTQ leaders in government, health, advocacy, business and community organizations.

Is your event not listed?  Send us an email

Bear | Business | Career| Conferences | Europe | Film | Leather | Lesbian | Trans

The post Northeast LGBT Conference 2017 appeared first on Seasons of Pride.

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