"Reaching New Heights”
2005 Annual Conference
Denver, September 30 - October 2, 2005
Join Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian Mormons for the 2005 Annual Conference
in Denver, Colorado--a visitor's jewel nestled at the feet of the majestic
Denver is one of the most accessible cities in the nation, being seated
virtually in the middle of the country, and also with the #1 rated Public
Transportation System in 2003. The meeting space will be at the Adam's
Mark Hotel, right in the middle of downtown Denver on the 1.5-mile
foot mall on 16th Street. Free shuttles provided by RTD (Regional Transportation
District) run frequently for easy access to dining.
The Adam's Mark is the biggest hotel in Denver. Amenities include a
year-round swimming pool, sauna, and state-of-the-art fitness center.
You can enjoy three restaurants, two lounges, and one exciting nightclub
without ever leaving the grounds. Located in the heart of downtown Denver,
the Adam's Mark is four blocks from the Convention Center, and within
walking distance of exciting visitor locations such as the Denver Art
Museum and the state capitol.
Make your plans now! And new for the 2005 conference, start contributing
for your conference fees now, in advance!
For more information about the conference you may also contact:
Affirmation: Gay & Lesbian Mormons
Mr. Micah Bisson
Chairperson, Conference Committee
Important Conference Information
The special conference room rate at the hotel ends August 30 – reserve your room NOW! If you are considering coming, reserve a room. You can cancel anytime up to three days before the conference without penalty. Rooms are only $99 per night! Call Adam's Mark reservations at (800) 444-2326.
- Money tight? We offer assistance to members via the Irwin Phelps Scholarship program. Registration goes from $189 to $94.50.
If you are interested, don't hesitate— now (olinaffirmation.org) or call 703-370-6269 (24 hour answering machine).
- Money even tighter? Consider sharing a room. In the interests of getting the most people we can to conference, I am personally organizing some shared accommodations. Relive your college days or mission living days! Pack four people into a room. If you can get yourself to Denver and register, we'll make sure you have a pillow to rest your head on. Room costs will drop to $25 per night this way. Assistance is available on this as well, if you truly need it. Don't delay --- call me! I want to see you in Denver. Olin Thomas (703) 864-5527 (cell) or 703-370-6269 or
- Registration cost is capped at $189. Draw a
line through the $204 price—pay only $189 for members, $209
for non-members, after Sept. 1. But register NOW!
First time attendees pay only $169. Write "First Timer" on your
Having troubles with the form? Call me (Olin Thomas) and I'll take
your registration information over the phone! Seriously! We want
the pleasure of your company in Denver.
Conference Deadlines & Important
|July 15 ||Deadline to register for the Conference at the lowest rate|
| August 30||Deadline to reserve a room at the lowest
| September 23 ||
Deadline to register for the Gamofite
| September 30||
Registration Form &
Irwin Phelps Scholarship
||Until July 15
||After July 15
||After Sep. 1
Last Updated: August 8, 2005
|Friday, September 30th
|3:00 PM – 5:00 PM
(Hospitality Suite, Room # 3855)
|4:00 PM – 8:00 PM
||Conference Check-In (Outside the Windows Room - 2nd
|5:30 PM – 6:00 PM
Reception (Hospitality Suite, Room # 3855)
|6:00 PM – 7:00 PM
||Dinner (On Your Own)
|7:00 PM – 8:30 PM
||Opening Social & Icebreaker (Windows Room - 2nd
|8:40 PM – 10:00 PM
||Film Presentation Lost Tribe--the
Sue Ann Post Documentary
(Tower Court D - 2nd
|10:00 PM - 12:00 AM
||Hospitality Suite Open (Hospitality Suite, Room # 3855)
|Saturday, October 1st
| 8:00 AM – 9:00 AM
||Breakfast (Tower Court D - 2nd
|8:00 AM – 10:00 AM
||Conference Check-In (Hospitality Suite, Room # 3855)
|9:00 AM – 10:00 AM
||Workshop Session 1 (Mezzanine Level)
|10:10 AM – 11:10 AM
||Workshop Session 2 (Mezzanine Level)
|11:20 AM – 12:20 PM
|| Workshop Session 3 (Mezzanine Level)
|12:30 PM – 6:30 PM
||Lunch (On Your Own) & Free Time
|12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
||Gamofite Luncheon requires
Downtown Grill, at walking distance from the hotel)
|6:30 PM – 7:00 PM
|| Doors Open for Banquet (Windows Room - 2nd
|7:00 PM – 10:00 PM
|| Awards Banquet / Keynote
Gay Men's Chorus Performance
(Windows Room - 2nd
|Sunday, October 2nd
| ??:?? AM – 10:00 AM
||Breakfast (On Your Own)
|10:00 AM – 11:30 AM
||Devotional (Windows Room - 2nd
|11:30 AM --12:00 PM
||Hotel Check-Out or Free Time
|12:00 PM – 2:00 PM
||Closing Brunch / Announcements (Windows Room -- 2nd
Tentative Program for the Saturday Workshops
Gold Room (Mezzanine Level)
Session 1: Communication Is a Process, Not an Event
Presenters: Dr. K. Gene Hansen and Mark Hansen
Dr. K. Gene Hansen and Mark Hansen are brothers from a Mormon family. Their parents (who are in their 80's) are accepting of their gay son (and their other five children) and have attended two Affirmation conferences and Gay Pride Day in Phoenix. This workshop will address communication with Mormon family members after coming out.
Dr. K. Gene Hansen earned his Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Utah in 1982. His expertise includes providing psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counseling to individuals, families, groups, couples and adolescents. He has taught the following graduate and undergraduate courses: Group Psychotherapy with Adolescents, Enhancing Parent and Adolescent Communication, Human Interaction, Psychology of Consciousness, Psychology of Dreams and an Advanced Seminar on Dreams.
Mark Hansen has been involved in Affirmation since 1987. He has served as the Phoenix Affirmation Chapter Director for four years. He graduated from the University of Utah with his Bachelor's degree in Business Management. He currently works as a Senior Design Engineer and sings in the Orpheus Male Chorus of Phoenix.
Session 2: Coming Out to Your Children
Presenter: Terry Powell
Terry Powell joined the Church as a convert while in design school in Los Angeles. Following that year, Terry accepted a calling to serve a mission in the Germany West Mission, in Frankfurt, Germany. After the completion of his mission, Terry graduated from Brigham Young University in interior design and moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Terry followed the path outlined by Church Elders, married and began the journey of home and family.
The father of three children, Terry will speak about his experiences accepting himself as a gay man and the process of including his children in this aspect of his life. Terry will present some ideas and experiences all people can appreciate as part of the coming out process.
Session 3: Living Your Life Without Regrets
Presenter: Clarence M. Dial
At 81 years young, Clarence Dial is the most senior member of the Phoenix Affirmation chapter. After fifty years of marriage, Clarence came out to his wife and family in 1998. Clarence is a father, the administrator of a local high school auditorium, works as an organist, sings in a choir, and is one of Phoenix Affirmation's most active members.
Clarence has experienced societal expectations relating to being gay spanning decades dating back to the early 1900s. You will enjoy hearing about Clarence's earliest experiences with being gay in the Army to him marching in the 2005 Phoenix Pride Parade. Clarence will share his thoughts and the lessons he's learned in his journey of living a life without regret.
Century Room (Mezzanine Level)
Session 1: Sexuality Can Be Spiritual: Honoring Your Erotic Self
Paul Brusstar was born and raised in New Jersey. He served a mission to the West Central States Mission in l966-68. He married in 1969 and is the father of five adult children. Paul moved his family to Arizona in 1978. Paul began to explore what he suspected might be his gay side after his divorce in 1991. The BODY ELECTRIC Workshops were his first contact with a gay theme and his journey began. Paul continues to celebrate his journey and his creation. Paul will discuss honoring your body and how to be at home with your erotic self. Paul will present his view of how to learn to appreciate your body.
Session 2: Gay Illusions and Reality
Presenter: David Douglas
Professional entertainer, magician and gay Mormon, David Douglass is still active in the LDS Church. David will examine LDS doctrine and gay issues and provide possible answers and solutions for issues facing many gay Mormons. David will also cover many traditions having no scriptural basis, which are foundations of hate, prejudice, and discrimination in the Church. While covering important and serious issues, the presentation will be lighthearted and punctuated with fun and magic from his Las Vegas and cruise ship shows. (Note: Adult themes, which may not be suitable for immature adults or children under 2. ;-))
Session 3: Massage & Spirituality
Presenter: Norman Sawyer
Self-discovery has and is a process for which Norman J. Sawyer, a licensed massage therapist for 18 years, will assist you in conceptualizing. The creative nature within us is associated from being literal souls birthed to us from our Heavenly parents. Either we can bask in the beauty of self or cringe in the shame from whence it came. Each of us chooses to embrace the shame or return it to its senders (the senders being teachers whom we allow to project the emotion of shame onto us). We can create an image which praises and keeps each of us connected to the Prime Source/God. Reflecting behaviors that exude confidence, pride, divine love, and peace is what Norman believes can be seen in an entity that accepts each of us "as we are."
Spruce Room (Mezzanine Level)
Session 1: How Politically Active Should Affirmation Be?
Presenters: Olin Thomas & Dave Melson
This workshop will Affirmation's past involvement in political activities
such as protests, vigils, campaign issues, referendums and ballot
initiatives, public statements and Amicus briefs. We'll discuss what is
currently planned and give all attendees a chance to discuss what is
appropriate for a non-profit, faith based organization in this arena, and
specifically what direction Affirmation should take to best fulfill its
charter to improve the lives of gay and lesbian Mormons. The workshop will
be conducted by Olin Thomas, who has been executive director of Affirmation
since 2004 and Dave Melson, the director of the Washington, DC chapter of
Session 2: Healing from Sexual Abuse
Presenter: Alyson Bolles
Session 3: Transgendered Workshop
The host of the panel is Kate from the Denver Gender Identity Center. Kate is a 57 year-old transexual who started living full time just over 2 years ago. She is a hard core practicing Catholic with close associations with Mormons.
The intent of this workshop is to educate and inform those who are unfamiliar with transgender issues. Education is the KEY. The panel will share their trials, family issues,emotional and physical challenges, as well as their triumphs and what they have learned from their personal journeys.
Affirmation Members Invited
to Attend Denver Leadership Meeting
It Will Be Held September 30, 3-5 PM
Affirmation is managed by an executive committee, but the ultimate authority
governing authority of the organization are the members, meeting in
a general conference. The Charter provides for a Council of Chapter
Representatives, which has the authority to approve the appointments
of assistant directors and to remove the executive director. More importantly,
however, representatives from each chapter meet each year to advise
the executive committee and discuss the direction of Affirmation. Traditionally,
this has developed into an annual business meeting of concerned members.
We will hold this meeting from 3:00 to 5:00pm on Friday, September 30,
in the hospitality suite (room #3855). All interested members are invited
and each chapter should appoint a representative who can commit to attending
or arrange for a substitute in his or her absence. Chapter Directors
are encouraged to attend in person. Please
who your representative will be at olinaffirmation.org.
Your participation is vital to the long term success of Affirmation.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Gamofites to Hold Luncheon
Gamofites (Gay Mormon Fathers) will meet Saturday, October 1, for their
traditional annual luncheon and meeting. The restaurant is located at
walking distance from the Denver Conference hotel. The cost is $22.00
per person. For reservations, please download the announcement/form
and mail your check to Ken Salzman by September 23.
Irwin Phelps Scholarship
The Irwin Phelps Fund
provides assistance to Affirmation members who would like to attend
the conference but may find it to be a financial burden. Donations earmarked
to this fund are gladly accepted!
Irwin Phelps was the executive Director of Affirmation in 1992. His
calm and compassionate leadership carried Affirmation through a time
of great turmoil. Shortly after the 1992 Conference, he was murdered
in his home in Phoenix. The Irwin Phelps Fund was established in his
Scholarships are awarded on the basis of financial need and contributions
to Affirmation, such as activity or willingness to volunteer for service.
Funds are limited and scholarships will be awarded on a "first-come,
first-served" basis and only to those who establish a definite need
for assistance. Past examples have included full time students, unemployed
or under-employed, retirees with limited income, international members
and those living on disability payments.
Assistance generally takes the form of a 50% reduction in conference
registration fees. We do not provide assistance with hotel rooms or
airfare. To apply for this scholarship,
with your name, address, contact information, and reason for your request.
Send the email to olinaffirmation.org.
If you do not have email, you may mail a request to Affirmation, P.O.
Box 77504, Washington, DC 20013 Attn: Irwin Phelps Scholarship. For
urgent or complex questions, you may leave a message at 703-370-6269
to receive a return telephone call.
Scholarships are available only for current Affirmation members, but
we will accept a membership renewal and scholarship application simultaneously.
Please don't wait until the last minute to inquire about scholarships!
If you are interested, contact us now. We do allow you to change your
mind, and feel free to contact us with questions.
Hotel Rates & Information
Room at the Adam's Mark Hotel
We are glad to announce that we obtained an additional $10 discount
for the basic rooms, the concorde level, and executive suites at the
Hotel in Denver!
NOTE: These room rates are for the hotel only and do not include
registration fees for the conference. You must register
for the Conference separately.
|Basic Room Options
|Concorde Level Rooms
|Tower Deluxe Suite
|Plaza Deluxe Suite
Basic Room Options include Deluxe Queen, King or Doubles, Deluxe Rooms
with One Bed, Accessible Rooms with Queen or Doubles, and King Bed of
Suite or Queen Bed of Suite. Hotel reservations can help you with your
selection. Suite prices are given for those accustomed to traveling
All amounts are in United States dollars, per room, per night. They
do not include any applicable taxes or additional room charges. You
will not be charged anything until your stay in the hotel.
Reservations must be made no later than August 30, 2005,
via phone at toll-free (800) 444-2326 to secure the above stated rates.
The room block is limited, so reserve early! Tell the reservations agent
you are with Affirmation to ensure you get the correct rate and we get
credit for your room reservation. Do not use the on-line reservation
feature of the hotel website. Any reservations made on or after August
31, 2005, are subject to the hotel's normal weekend rate, and the conference
committee can guarantee neither room availability nor price at the hotel.
The check-in time is 3 PM. The check-out time is normally 12 noon, but
if the guests request beforehand the time to be adjusted, it can be
moved to 2 PM for no charge.
Early Arrival / Late Departure
If you wish to arrive in Denver early or depart late, the rates are
good for the night of September 27, 2005, until the night of November
4, 2005, subject to availability.
More Hotel Information
Hotel information can be found online at www.adamsmark.com/denver
or by calling (303) 893-3333.
Finding a Roommate
Finding a Roommate for the Conference
Driving to the Conference
Parking at the hotel is available for $15/day --which is a pretty good
rate for underground parking in downtown Denver. It can be added to
the hotel bill so you can pay all at once.
Special Fare with SuperShuttle
Denver International is located 28 miles from downtown Denver. Conference
attendees can take advantage of this special offer with SuperShuttle.
It's good for a $30 round trip per person, or a $18 one way trip per
person. Major credit cards accepted. Just print out this
coupon and take it with you to Denver.
Once you arrive to Denver, follow these directions (printed also in
- Take the train from your concourse to the terminal.
- Proceed to the SuperShuttle counter to get a ticket.
- Pick up you luggage from the carousels.
- Go out Door 510 or 507 and proceed to Lane 3 to take the shuttle.
Denver Kick-Off Events for Friday,
Before making a flight reservation, pease check
the information below. Remember also that to get from Denver International
Airport to the hotel you'll have to make a 30 mile trip by shuttle.
3:00-5:00 PM: Leadership Meeting
at the Hospitality Suite (Room 3855).
Open to all Affirmation members. Make sure your chapter sends a representative!
5:30-6:00 PM: First-Timers
Reception. New to Affirmation's National Conference? Drop into the Hospitality
Suite between 5:30 and 6:00 Friday night. Let's get acquainted, answer
your questions, and help you get into the swing of things. This event
is for first-time conference attendees only.
Note: As a first-timer, don't forget that
you can attend the conference at a discounted
6:00-7:00 PM: Dinner (on your own)
7:00 PM: Opening Social Mixer, for everyone. It will
include finger food and drinks, but not a full dinner.
Keynote Speaker: Don Johnson
Dr. Don Johnson
The Conference Committee is pleased to announce the selection of Dr.
Don Johnson to deliver the keynote address on Saturday, October 1. Dr.
Johnson has been through the fire before us. His story spans almost
exactly the same time frame as the history of Affirmation: Gay and Lesbian
Mormons. His excommunication for being gay occurred exactly on the day
of the first national gay rights march in the nation's capital in 1979,
where he marched with the
gay Mormon contingent in that parade.
Dr. Johnson's coming out, while an active Mormon with many callings
and a well-known professor at the University of Colorado, attracted
interest from CBS, which planned to make a "movie of the week" based
on his story. Pressure from the Church played a role in that project
being shelved, though it was years later when he learned that Church
officials had paid private detectives to follow him and report back
on his activities.
His groundbreaking class on human sexuality at the University from 1970
to 1985 led to his becoming a national speaker and writer on the topic
of gay youth developmental issues and the coming out process, including
addressing the 1988
Affirmation Conference in Los Angeles. When Dr. Johnson speaks to
us on the process of being strengthened by the "refiner's fire," he
will know of what he speaks. Join us in Denver to hear him in person!
Affirmation Conference to Feature the Denver Gay Men's
Founded in 1982, the Denver Gay Men's Chorus was the first openly gay
organization in Denver and the first to use the word "gay" in its name.
Now entering their 21st season, the DGMC is comprised of 85 members
(all volunteers) who include five African Americans, 12 Hispanics, one
lesbian and one non-gay man. The members range in age from 20 to 60
years. The Chorus has been a beacon of strength and support during strenuous
years for the gay and lesbian community, speaking through song on issues
meaningful to the gay and lesbian experience. . After years of extensive
outreach efforts, the Chorus performs for audiences that are roughly
60% gay and 40% non-gay.
Over the years the Chorus has become an accomplished musical organization.
Some highlights include singing with Diane Schuur in an inaugural concert
at the Temple Buell Theatre, and joining forces with the Denver Women's
Chorus in 1992 to host the fourth Festival of Gay and Lesbian Choruses,
bringing together more than 3,500 singers from around the world. In
1993 they were presented the Mayor's Award for Excellence in the Arts,
and the next year performed in Boettcher Concert Hall with renowned
soprano Faith Esham. The chorus has released several professionally-produced
compact discs, including "Infinite Hues", "Songs for a Winter's Night"
and "Anthology", based on the spring concert celebrating 15 years of
building community through music. In the summer of 1997, the DGMC performed
with Harmony, Holly Near and Bill McKinley, again in Boettcher Concert
Hall. The DGMC participated in GALA Festival 2000 in San Jose, performed
in Portland, Oregon in 2001 and then hosted the Portland Gay Men's Chorus
at the Stage Theatre in Denver, jointly commissioning a major work by
Since 1982, the Denver Gay Men's Chorus has been dedicated to building
a community through music by actively making an artistic contribution
to the entire gay and lesbian community. Over the years the group has
struggled with the challenges and devastation of the AIDS epidemic,
rallied within the community to defeat Amendment Two and endeavored
to break down the walls of prejudice in society as a whole through music.
The songs they have chosen to perform as a GALA Chorus are poignant
and purposeful. They tell unique and powerful stories of the journeys
that gays and lesbians have known and are a musical celebration of this
community's achievements as well as a celebration of life itself. Join
Affirmation in Denver September 30 through October 2, 2005 as we celebrate
with the Denver Gay Men's Chorus the experience and goals we share as
gay and lesbian people.
Denver Conference to Screen Lost Tribe
The documentary Lost Tribe features Australian comedian
Sue-Ann Post --and glimpses of almost all of us in Affirmation
who attended the Salt Lake conference.
Sue-Ann Post Cancels Visit, but Friday Event Will
Still Include Ice-Breaker, Movie
By Hugo Salinas
8 August 2005
Australian comedian and author Sue-Ann Post has just informed us that
she received an offer to work for the Australian TV industry. We are
happy for Sue-Ann, but unfortunately this job opportunity will interfere
with her plans to attend the Denver Conference in September.
Despite Sue-Ann's absence, we are making plans for an ice-breaker on
Friday evening. Conference ice-breakers tend to be a lot of fun, and
this one will be no exception. And we are still planning to screen the
new documentary about Sue-Ann Post, Lost Tribe. The film includes
glimpses of almost all of us in Affirmation who attended the Salt Lake
Conference. This event will be the film's first public screening in
the United States.
For those of you who have not yet registered-you can still do it! We
are excited about this Affirmation conference-the first one ever held
in Colorado. Denver is a terrific city, and the conference hotel is
located in the heart of Denver. More importantly, Affirmation members
and friends will be coming from all over the United States to this event.
Please plan to be a part of our annual family reunion in Denver.
Fantastic Airfares to Denver!
Flying to the Affirmation conference doesn't
have to be an expensive proposition. Several websites offer excellent
deals for roundtrips to Denver. Before buying your ticket, check out
fares offered at orbitz.com,
All the prices below are for roundtrips offered by orbitz.com
for the dates of the conference (September 30 - October 2) and include
Salt Lake City
|| Washington DC