Panels & Conversations

The New Haven Pride Center’s Panels and Conversations series, expanded greatly during the COVID-19 pandemic, is continuing full steam ahead in 2021. Join our program officers and guest program curators for illuminating and introspective conversations with thought leaders and creators from our community, the wider region, and the national stage. In these dialogues, we’ll tackle issues of racial justice, gender equity, youth empowerment, and more as we advance the conversation and plot a more equitable and just path through turbulent times.

The Center seeks to explore issues that are not being addressed adequately in the broader LGBTQ+ community, focusing on topics that affect our community’s members in often-overlooked ways. Through this intersectional work, the Center strives to elevate the voices of the most marginalized and raise awareness around all aspects of the sociopolitical climate our community members find themselves in.

In addition to the panels & conversations listed below also make sure you check out our Day of Action and Lavender Lit Club pages for similar programs.

Check out our YouTube Library

Throughout 2020 the Center hosted dozens of virtual programs including community conversations, panels, and discussions utilizing the experience and knowledge of local and national artists, community organizers, advocates, thought leaders, and youth experts. We have compiled all of these programs in a virtual database on our YouTube Channel.  Watch them now.

You can also check out some of our programming playlists which include : Artist Talks, Author Talks, Programación en español, Racial Justice Programming, Transgender, Intersex, and Nonbinary Programming, Women’s Programming, and Youth Programming.

The Center’s Panels & Conversations programming is made possible with support from :

Meet the Programming Team

Max Cisneros
(he/him or they/them)
Email Max

Ala Ochumare
Email Ala

Eliot Olson
Email Eliot

Miranda Rector
Email Miranda

2021 Panels & Conversations

Queer Identity, Gender & Trauma Panel
January 20 @ 6:00p

Join us for a discussion on queer identity, gender & trauma. We will be chatting with folks working with queer and trans communities in the areas such as suicide prevention, intimate partner violence response, and youth advocacy. The discussion will explore the many ways in which queer and trans people experience trauma, how gender identity impacts one’s experience of trauma, disparities amongst women’s and LGBTQIA+ communities, and how we can better serve queer and trans people as mental health professionals, advocates, community members and allies. This panel is presented in partnership with The Women’s Consortium & Trans Lifeline.

Panel will feature thoughts from Nadine Ruff, MSW, Shane Scott, IV Staklo and Brielle Roundtree. The panel will be moderated by journalist, activist, and Trans Lifeline volunteer Karleigh Webb.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Why is Environmental Advocacy Queer Advocacy?
January 27 @ 12:00p

Join us for a discussion where we will explore the intersectionality of gender identity, sexual orientation, and the environment. How will climate change uniquely effect our community? If we don’t take a seat at the discussion table, how could decisions addressing environmental concerns impact our health and wellness? Hear perspectives from artists, activists and academics on how and why the effects of climate change and polution disproportionally effect the queer community, particularly queer communities of colour and why as a community we need to prioritize environmental equity as part of our push for equality.

Panel will feature perspectives from Hamzah Jhaveri, Adrian Huq and Arien Wilkerson. The panel will moderated by environmental activist, climate justice researcher, and community educator AJ Hudson.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Spiritual Queer Spaces
January 29 @ 4:30p

What do LGBTQ+ affirming spiritual spaces look like? How have Latino/a/x queer communities found value in these spaces? And what are the barriers to building and maintaining these spaces while being inclusive of the community? These are just some of the questions we will look to answer in our January panel.

For many Latino/a/x LGBTQ+ folks spirituality and religion are a powerful sources of support, community strength and emotional healing. But, many of these spaces also have a long history of causing trauma and death for LGBTQ+ people. So how do we as a community find spirituality that feeds our soul instead of crushing it?

Panel will feature perspectives from Rev. Santos Cancel and Rev. Edwin Perez Jr. The panel will moderated by the Center’s Latinx Program Officer Max Cisneros.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
The Realities of LGBTQ+ Homelessness
February 9 @ 4:00p

In a continuation of our programming uplifting LGBTQ+ folks and their experiences with homelessness, the Center invites you to join us for a panel discussion to talk about the realities of homelessness in the queer and trans communities with folks with first hand experiences.

Hear from LGBTQ+ folks from throughout Connecticut who are who have personally experienced houselessness and learn from our panelists experiences on how we could be serving and supporting our LGBTQ+ houseless community better.

This discussion will feature thoughts from Elisio Acosta, Anthony Stowers, and Triss. The panel will be co-modrated by Transgender, Nonbinary, and Intersex Program Officer Eliot Olson and Youth Program Officer Ala Ochumare.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Queer Women in Business
February 18 @ 6:00p

Join us for one of our February discussions where we explore how queer women are shaping the business and nonprofit sectors of Connecticut through innovative ideas, strong business skills, and outstanding leadership.

In this conversation our panelists will discuss entrepreneurship and how you can build an idea into a recognized and change making brand. How do queer women combat employment and workplace discrimination? How can queer women’s philanthropy through their businesses be models for giving back to the community? This panel is presented in partnership with Collab New Haven.

This discussion will feature thoughts from Jasmine Jacobs, Ashley LaRue and Sonia Salazar. The panel will be modrated by Co-Director and Co-Founder of Collab New Haven Caroline Smith.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Combating LGBTQ+ Youth Homelessness
February 19 @ 4:00p

In Connecticut at any given time, 20-40% of the youth homeless population identifies as LGBTQ+.

This reality is a result of policy decisions, systematic oppression, and lack of resources.

In this panel where we continue the conversation around LGBTQ+ homelessness and specifically how we can work to combat youth homelessness. LGBTQ+ youth are particularly vulnerable and often need additional support as they deal with discrimination and challenges unique to the sexual orientation and gender identity. We will talk about resources within the community and share some collective efforts being throughout the state to support LGBTQ+ youth and hopefully help address the growing experience of homelessness.

This discussion will feature thoughts from Keana Bulau, Mel Cordner and Juan Fonseca. The panel will be moderated by the Center’s Trans, Nonbinary and Intersex Program Officer Eliot Olson.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Exploring Black Queer History
February 22 @ 12:00p

Join us for a special conversations with historians, professors and authors Darius Bost (Evidence of Being: The Black Gay Cultural Renaissance and the Politics of Violence) and C. Riley Snorton (Black on Both Sides: A Racial History of Trans Identity, Nobody Is Supposed to Know: Black Sexuality on the Down Low) as we explore the hidden history of America’s Black queer history.

From slavery to modern day, Black Queerfolk have an incredible history in America, one that is often overlooked and gone untold. Join us as we take a deep dive into that history, explore why it is vital that this history be remembered and taught, and how this history has shaped who we are as a community at large. This panel is presented in partnership with Black Lives Matter New Haven.

Conversation will feature perspectives from authors Darius Bost and C. Riley Snorton, PhD. The conversation will be moderated by Black Lives Matter New Haven Founder and Youth Program Officer Ala Ochumare.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
The Art of Drag
March 11 @ 8:00p

The history and art of drag is long and intertwined with LGBTQ+ history, and has roots beyond the LGBTQ+ experience from Greek Tragedies to Shakespeare. In Connecticut, drag has an incredible past, and present, from the Hartford ballroom scene to the drag cabarets like the Polo Club and Bird House at Gotham, from being a safe space for the trangender community to taking on the stages of Connecitcut’s most prominent performance venues.

Join us for a special conversation with Connecticut drag artists about their craft, what it means to create through drag, and learn more about their own personal journey. This panel is presented in partnership with Yale Cabaret.

Conversation will feature perspectives from drag artists Kirshorn / Sparkle A. Diamond, Miles / Ray Decorazón, and Tim / Loosey LaDuca. The conversation will be moderated by drag artist and Center Executive Director Patrick Dunn / Kiki Lucia.

Read More! Watch on YouTube
Autism and LGBTQ+ Identity
April 22 @ 6:00p

Autistic advocates have long argued that there was significant overlap between the autistic and LGBTQ+ communities, and in recent years, studies have emerged showing the prevalence of sexuality and gender diversity in autistic people is significantly higher than in the allistic, or non-autistic, population. Autistic people often report an experience of ‘not fitting in’ to allistic society, and this feeling of ‘not fitting in’ often extends to cisgender, heterosexual norms. 

In this panel, hear from a group of queer autistic people on how they understand and relate to their LGBTQ+ identities through the lens of autism, commonalities in the struggle for self-determination between LGBTQ+ and autistic people, and the challenges and triumphs of living at the intersection of autism and LGBTQ+ identity.

Panel will feature perspectives from Milo Evica (they/he), Alex Marie (she/her), and Quell Nessuno (they/them). This panel will be moderated by Center Marketing & Development Coordinator Maia Leonardo.

Read More!
Mythbusting : Dysphoria and the Trans Community
May 24 @ 12:00p

Dysphoria is for many the gateway to discovering trans identity and combating it is for many the greatest challenge of transition. However, many myths persist around dysphoria, including who experiences it, what it’s like, and whether it’s a required experience for identifying as trans. Additionally, the original standards of medical care for trans people codified many harmful myths about dysphoria that are still active within and without the trans community. In this panel, thought leaders will sit down and discuss the myths and realities of transgender dysphoria.

The conversation will be moderated by Trans, Nonbinary, and Intersex Program Officer Eliot Olson.

Panel : Exploring Health Disparities For The Latino/a/x Community (English)
May 26 @ 4:00p

In many realms of health and wellness, including HIV care, COVID vaccination, and life expectancy, the Latinx community is at a significant disadvantage compared to white folks. There are significant funding disparities in health care for Latinx communities, and these communities are typically underserved by health care systems. Nearly 40% of the Latinx community is uninsured, and uninsured people typically receive half as much health care as those who are insured.  In this panel, the first of two, we’ll examine some of the reasons behind these negative health outcomes and discuss strategies for amelioration of these disparities.


The conversation will be moderated by Latinx Program Officer Max Cisneros.