GROUPS & EVENTS

Youth Support/Social Groups – read more
Parent/Guardian Group – 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.


Youth Peer Support / Social Groups

Youth Groups generally meet in-person on a monthly basis. Food is provided by GSSN, please bring your own beverage. Meetings begin promptly so please plan to arrive a few minutes early.

Locations change with season and availability, with virtual meetings (via Zoom) as a second option. Please email us at info@geaugasogi.org for locations, and to explore eligibility to attend a group.

The High School Group (grades 9 through 12) generally meets on the first Monday of the month from 5:00 – 6:30PM.

The Middle School Group (grades 6 through 8) generally meets on the second Monday of the month from 5:30 – 7:00PM. This group is open to parents and guardians who are encouraged to attend with their children. The facilitator may arrange for youths and adults to split off, giving each a chance to speak openly.


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.

These groups are recommended for:

  • individuals facing “coming-out” issues 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: These groups are 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.


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

This group formed in October 2021 at the request of several parents, and has continued to meet monthly ever since. We are currently meeting in-person at various local facilities. Meetings times and dates vary, and meetings are scheduled roughly one month in advance. To register and receive the time and location for our next meeting, please email us at info@geaugasogi.org.

What to Expect
The Parent/Guardian group provides an open and safe environment to discuss successes and challenges you may have encountered while caring for your loved one, and to share your accumulated knowledge and best practices.

This group is recommended for:

  • parents/guardians of a transgender or gender non-conforming youth or adult
  • individuals seeking to engage with others and establish collaborative friendships
  • relatives or close friends who may be struggling with acceptance and understanding

Upcoming Parent/Guardian Groups

There are no upcoming events.


Topical Discussion Group – all ages, family friends, teachers, caregivers

This group generally 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 info@geaugasogi.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

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

There are no upcoming events.

Past Events

Pride In Geauga

Date: June 26, 2022

Time: 1:00 to 5:00pm

Location: Century Village, 14653 E. Park St, Burton, OH

Engage the community!

Geauga SOGI Support Network organized and sponsored Pride In Geauga which was held in Burton’s Century Village! Activities included an exhibitor’s area, music, Pride temporary tattoos, a craft area for kids, yard games, kites, bubbles, and a magician! There was Hawaiian food, a beverage truck, a cupcake trailer, and free cold water. We also sold Geauga SOGI tee-shorts, flags, and ribbon streamers. Around 530 people came to this event.

Exhibitors: Geauga SOGI Support Network, Trans Ohio, Equality Ohio, Camp Lilac, Signature Health – LGBTQ Sexual Health, UH Hospital – LGBTQ+ & Gender Care, Cleveland Clinic LGBTQ+ Gender Health & Care, MetroHealth Pride Network, Kent Geauga, Federated Church -SJAM (Social Justice Advocacy Ministry), Bainbridge UCC Church, Community Church of Chesterland, Eastshore Unitarian Universalist Church, Lake Geauga Recovery Center – nicotine, vaping, marijuana, PFLAG Cleveland, League of Women Voters, Materials Only – Margie’s Hope, Colors Plus Youth Program

Sponsors: Parker Hannifin – Premier, Extra Betty – Balloon artist, Howling Print and Promo, Huntington Bank, Key Bank, Community Life Collaborative, Sloane Amplification, UH Hospitals, Metro Health, Camp Lilac, Cleveland Clinic LGBTQ+ Health & Care, Equality Ohio, Sirva Relocation and Moving, Tulip Tree Creative Studios

Youth Holiday Gathering

Date: December 8, 2021

Time: 5:30 - 7:30pm

Engage the community!

This holiday-themed in-person event was a combined Holiday Gathering of middle and high school youth groups and parents. It 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.

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.