University of Connecticut

Events Calendar

Lecture: Fight To Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy

Thursday, October 24, 2019
12:30pm – 1:45pm

Storrs Campus
Rainbow Center; Student Union 403

This presentation is co-sponsored by the UConn Chapter of the GenUN UNA and UConn’s Student Health and Wellness.

The Out to Lunch Gender, Sexuality, and Community is a weekly academic lecture and discussion series with guest scholars and community activists from various disciplines examining a variety of topics related to gender identity, gender expression, and sexuality. Each semester offers a broad sampling of the areas.

The Fall 2019 semester is co-sponsored by the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Department (

Today's lecture is entitled, "You Can’t Change What We Never Chose: The Fight To Protect LGBTQ Youth From Conversion Therapy" and will be presented by Sam Brinton (they/them/theirs).

Synopsis: Research has proven that conversion therapy significantly endangers the health and wellbeing of LGBTQ youth. Despite these risks, conversion therapy is still practiced by licensed mental health professionals across the country. This conversation will educate about the movement to protect LGBTQ youth from the harms of conversion therapy as well as the ways in which everyone can help lead the charge for anti-conversion therapy protections in their workplaces and cities. This session will present an overview of anti-conversion therapy laws and policies, the coalitions working to enact protections, and the best practices for affirming LGBTQ youth as they are.

Biography: Sam is one of the world’s leading advocates for LGBTQ youth. They currently serve as the Head of Advocacy and Government Affairs for The Trevor Project, the leading national organization focused on crisis and suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning youth. They are the founder of the 50 Bill 50 States campaign at The Trevor Project to end the dangerous and discredited practice of conversion therapy, first in the United States and then around the globe. As a survivor of conversion therapy, Sam has spearheaded efforts to submit legislation and promote public education in the hopes of protecting youth from its harms. They were the founding Co-Chair of the National Center for Lesbian Rights #BornPerfect Advisory Committee on conversion therapy and have spoken before the United Nations and Congress as well as testified on legislation from coast to coast. They have been featured in numerous media including a widely shared New York Times op-ed as well as The Washington Post, The LA Times, The Advocate, CNN, TIME, MSNBC, PBS Newshour, Huffington Post, and CTV in Canada. Sam uses they, them, or theirs as their pronouns as a genderfluid person.

Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunches


Rainbow Center (primary), Office for Diversity and Inclusion, Student Health and Wellness, UConn Master Calendar, Women's Gender and Sexuality Studies

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