GROUPS & EVENTS

Peer Support Group – read more
Youth Support/Social Groups – read more
Topical Discussion Group – read more
Events – read more

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.


Peer Support Group – for all ages, family, and friends

This group meets via Zoom on the first Wednesday of each month, from 7:00 – 8:30PM. Please login a few minutes early. To receive a Zoom link, please email us at GeaugaSOGI@gmail.com.

What to Expect
This group provides an open and safe environment to share your story and obtain peer support. Attendees may request to follow-up with a mentor who can provide one-on-one support. You may also choose to simply listen, and discover that you are not alone. By meeting similarly identified people, many come to realize the importance of all individuals.

People on the SOGI spectrum are believed to represent approximately 10% of the world’s population, and are a part of one in every four families. Through regular attendance, prejudice and stereotypical views begin to dissolve, and understanding and acceptance emerge.

This group is recommended for:

  • individuals facing “coming-out” dilemmas with their families
  • parents struggling to understand their child’s sexuality and/or gender expression
  • spouses who have just learned of their spouses’ real sexuality or gender identity
  • parents or friends who have worked through difficult times and wish to help others succeed


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 GeaugaSOGI@gmail.com.

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 GeaugaSOGI@gmail.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 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 GeaugaSOGI@gmail.com.

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

Topical Discussion Group

Date: October 14, 2021

Location: online via Zoom

Expand your mind!

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.

Topical Discussion Group

Date: May 12, 2021

Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: online via Zoom

Expand your mind!

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.

Topical Discussion Group

Date: March 10, 2021

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: online via Zoom

Expand your mind!

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.

Topical Discussion Group

Date: January 13, 2021

Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: online via Zoom

Expand your mind!

In this meeting we explored the internal and external challenges of LGBTQ youth coming out. Discussion was based on the Netflix movie “The Prom”.

Topical Discussion Group

Date: November 9, 2020

Time: 7:00 - 8:30pm

Location: online via Zoom

Expand your mind!

In this meeting we discussed Gender: A Graphic Guide by Meg-John Barker, Jules Scheele (Illustrator).


Events

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

Upcoming Events

Youth Holiday Gathering

Date: December 8, 2021

Time: 5:30 - 7:30pm

Engage the community!

Please join us for an in-person combined Holiday Gathering of middle and high school youth groups and parents. This holiday-themed event will be held indoors in a private room at a local restaurant, and Geauga SOGI will cover the cost of the food/beverages for the youth. Parents are welcome to stay and eat in the front of the restaurant. This event supersedes all youth groups in December, so don’t miss out, email us by Dec 6th at GeaugaSOGI@gmail.com to register and for more information. Parental permission is required for grades 6-8.

Past Events

NEW Support Group for Parents/Guardians of Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming Persons

Date: October 16, 2021

Engage the community!

Check back or email us for information on our next meeting!

Chagrin Documentary Film Festival

Date: October 9, 2021

Location: Chagrin Valley Little Theater (in person)

Engage the community!

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

Geauga Library Training

Date: January 28, 2021

Time: 7pm

Location: online via Zoom

Engage the community!

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.