GROUPS & EVENTS
Group and Event Guidelines
- All Support Groups are FREE and open to residents of Geauga County and surrounding areas.
- We strive to create a welcoming, respectful, and positive environment where everyone can relate experiences, raise concerns, and share information.
- Impactful matters of any nature may be raised and discussed, however specific religious, political, or social agendas are strongly discouraged.
- During a Support Group or Event, please respect and support each attendee wherever they are in their journey.
- Support Groups are confidential, which means that sharing lessons and ideas outside of the event is permitted, but no sharing of names or personal information is allowed, and no recordings or photos are permitted without prior authorization.
Youth Peer Support / Social Groups
Grades 6 through 8 group meets in person on the third Wednesday of each month, from 5:30 – 7:00PM Please arrive a few minutes early.
Note: parental permission is required for new attendees. To provide permission and be advised of location, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Grades 9 through 12 group meets via Zoom on the first Thursday of each month, from 5:00 – 6:30PM. Please login a few minutes early. To receive a Zoom link, please email us at email@example.com.
What to Expect
These groups provide an open and safe environment for youth on the SOGI spectrum to share their stories, obtain peer support, and form new friendships. Attendees are encouraged to offer support, understanding, and friendship. You may also just listen and know that you are not alone.
The Middle School group (grades 6-8) is open to parents and guardians who are encouraged to attend with their children. A separate break-out room will be utilized to give youth and adults a chance to speak openly.
The MS group is recommended for:
- individuals facing “coming-out” dilemmas with their families
- parents struggling to understand their child’s sexuality and/or gender expression
- friends and allies wishing to give support
- parents and youth who have worked through difficult times and wish to help others succeed
Please note: The MS group is facilitated by experienced, professional Ravenwood Health Center counselors who are funded by the Geauga County Board of Mental Health and Recovery Services. Participants will not be registered with Ravenwood Health Center.
Topical Discussion Group – all ages, family friends, teachers, caregivers
This group usually meets via Zoom on the second Wednesday, every other month (Jan, Mar, May, Jul, Sep, Nov), from 7:00 – 8:30PM. This group may also meet at other times/dates. Upcoming and past Topical Discussion Groups are listed below. To receive a Zoom link, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What to Expect
The Topical Discussion group provides an open and safe environment to discuss books, articles, documentaries, and other media relating to the SOGI spectrum. Guest speakers are welcome.
This group is recommended for:
- anyone with an interest or expertise in the topic to be discussed
- individuals seeking to broaden their understanding of the SOGI community
- SOGI individuals wishing to engage with others to share and learn
Upcoming Topical Discussion Groups
There are no upcoming events.
Past Topical Discussion Groups
In this meeting we explored the topic of Gender Studies*. Our guest presenter was Mitch Lieberth, PhD, Care Manager, Cleveland State University. Mitch spoke about their dissertation: “What’s In A Name? The lived experiences of transgender college students using a preferred name policy”.
*Gender studies is an interdisciplinary academic field devoted to analyzing gender identity and gendered representation. It focuses on the complex interaction of gender with other identity markers such as race, ethnicity, sexuality, nation, and religion.
In this meeting we explored a bill seeking to restrict the eligibility of transgender girls and women to participate in girls’ and women’s sports, and a bill that seeks to prohibit minors from medically transitioning, even if doctors and parents approve. Our guest was James Knapp of TransOhio, who explained the implications of these bills. About 17 people attended.
Our topic was “The Laramie Project” which tells the story of how the town of Laramie Wyoming reacted to the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a young gay man. We were joined by members of the Chagrin Falls Academy for the Performing Arts.
In this meeting we explored the internal and external challenges of LGBTQ youth coming out. Discussion was based on the Netflix movie “The Prom”.
In this meeting we discussed Gender: A Graphic Guide by Meg-John Barker, Jules Scheele (Illustrator).
Events are in-person and scheduled on an as-needed basis. Events follow the same guidelines as Groups. Upcoming and past Events are listed below.
What to Expect
Events provide an open and safe environment to gather together for the sharing of ideas and forming friendships. Events may be held in collaboration with other institutions such as places of worship or community organizations.
Events are recommended for:
- individuals and institutions seeking a better understanding of the SOGI community
- parents or spouses in need of peer support for guidance and friendship
- community leaders and establishments wishing to show their support for the SOGI community
Our next meeting has been scheduled and a location has been secured. Previous attendees should have received an email invite. If you did not receive an invite, or are a potential new attendee, please email us at email@example.com to register and obtain the location information. Thanks, and we look forward to seeing you!
A holiday-themed, in-person, combined Holiday Gathering of middle and high school youth groups and parents was held indoors in a private room at a local restaurant. Geauga SOGI covered the cost of the food/beverages for the youth. Parents were welcome to stay and eat in the front of the restaurant. This event superseded all youth groups in December 2021.
GSSN partnered with the CDFF for the PREMIERE showing of “Building a Bridge”, a film which provides a message of LGBTQ acceptance. Father James Martin advocates for a welcoming approach by the Catholic Church towards the LGBTQ community and begs the question “What would Jesus do?” Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_LgIcqe6rY
At this event, Geauga SOGI Support Network offered an in-depth overview of how and why we intend to provide supportive resources for individuals and families experiencing changes in sexual orientation and gender identity.