ALGBTICAL Membership



History of ALGBTICAL
ALCA Conference

LGBTQ-Friendly Counselors


ALGBTICAL Members March in Birmingham Pride Parade


June 2019


Central Alabama Pride capped off the week of events with the 31st annual Pride Parade on Saturday June 8, 2019.  And ALGBTICAL officers and members were on hand to celebrate.


ALGBTICAL's entry in the parade featured a sports car, decorated truck, and marchers. Marchers held banners and signs, waved flags, and tossed beads.  Many thanks to the ALGBTICAL folks who participated, including President Natalie Hottel, Past President Chris Dasambiago-Moore, President-Elect Paul Hard, and more.


Screams of “happy pride” flooded the streets of Birmingham’s Lakeview district as hundreds of people crowded to watch the Pride Parade. The 31st annual Central Alabama Pride Parade was the highlight of a week of events. Central Alabama Pride, an organization that hosts the Pride events annually and supports other groups throughout the year, had events spanning from dancing, a baseball game, a skating party, an interfaith service, a queer prom and more.

The 10-block parade began at 8:00 PM on Seventh Avenue South and 32nd Street and ended at Our Place.


According to CAP Board of Directors member Ron Collins, this year’s parade is the biggest yet. “It’s really, really fantastic,” he said before the parade began. “It’s important for people to live their truth."

The 2019 parade lasted just over one hour and had over 80 groups, businesses, and organizations participating. Companies including Honda, the Grand Bohemian Hotel in Mountain Brook, Books-A-Million, U-Haul, Advance Auto Parts, and more participated in the parade. Several churches also were present.


BBVA Compass was the main corporate sponsor for the Pride Parade, along with other companies like Alabama Power. “It’s important because it’s like, these big corporations see the worth of gay people," Collins said. "It’s good to have allies when you look at some of the other big corporations against us. It’s good to have people in our corner.”

Birmingham Celebrates Pride Week


ALGBTICAL at Birmingham Pride Fest


June 2017


Central Alabama Pride presented Pride Fest from June 2 until June 11.  The 10-day LGBTQ celebration featured a variety of community events including a baseball game, an interfaith service, a bingo game, a bowling party, a choir concert, a skating party, a film viewing, a drag show, and a parade.



ALGBTICAL was excited to be a part of this major LGBTQ community event and was glad to help promote it.  ALGBTICAL members joined in the celebration and participated in the entertainment.


ALGBTICAL was represented in the Pride Fest Parade on Saturday, June 10.  AGLBTICAL officers and members (including President elect Chris Dasambiago-Moore, Jamie Satcher, Glenda Elliott, Kat Lawson, and Michael Lebeau) marched in the 10-block-long procession, waving signs, tossing beads, and blaring music.



Organizational Reports


Board Meetings




Organizational News


Patrick Faircloth Interview on Trojan Talk

Glenda Elliott Interview on NPR Story Corps

Paul Hard Interview on WSFA-TV


Organizational Information








ALGBTICAL at BAO Bingo Fundraiser


December 2016


Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) hosts a monthly Bingo Fundraising Event on the first Monday of each month.  The event typically attracts a huge crowd and it's a lot of fun.  They raise money to support the ongoing important work that BAO does to help people living with AIDS/HIV.  ALGBTICAL board members, Gary Williams and Michael Lebeau, attended the December event and took part in the outrageous activities.




LGBTQ Roundtable

October 2016

ALGBTICAL board members (Dina, Gary, Natalie, Michael) attended the Junior League of Birmingham Community Roundtable event, entitled "LGBTQ: Beyond the Stereotype," on Thursday, October 27. 


A panel discussion took place.  The moderator will be Karen Musgrove, Executive Director of Birmingham AIDS Outreach.  The panelists include Elaine Stephens (Retired CPA; Community Volunteer/Activist), Lauren Jacobs (Youth Outreach Coordinator, Magic City Acceptance Center), and Jason Cheek (Deputy Civil Chief, U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of Alabama).

ALGBTICAL Partners With Chapter IV

September 2016

The Presidents and Board Members of ALGBTICAL and Chapter IV have established a partnership.  They've collaborated on a number of upcoming projects and have recently gotten together to socialize and have fun.  ALGBTICAL President Dina Marble and Chapter IV President Debbie Grant are happy to work together in sponsoring events and providing opportunities for their members to interact and fellowship.


Recent social outings have included attending a Birmingham Barons Baseball Game and having dinner at Beef O'Brady's Sports Tavern.  Future collaborations between ALGBTICAL and Chapter IV will include co-sponsorship of a social event at the ALCA Fall Conference, co-sponsorship of a refreshment break at the ALCA Conference, and co-sponsorship of the ALGBTICAL Spring Workshop.



ALGBTICAL Officer Interviewed About Safe Zone

September 2016

Dr. Patrick Faircloth, ALGBTICAL President Elect, and Counselor Education Professor at Troy University and Troy University Montgomery, was interviewed recently about Troy's Safe Zone Program.  The program, which Patrick was instrumental in creating, is entitled "Safe Zone for All," and addresses the needs and concerns of LGBTQ students on the Troy University campus.  Patrick's interview was part of the regular Trojan Talk program which features important community events and activities at Troy University. 




Video: Patrick Faircloth Interviewed About Troy University's Safe Zone Program


Recent LGBT Workshops

September 2016


--ALCA Chapter V and Jacksonville State University co-sponsored a professional development workshop entitled "Supporting LGBTQ Youth," presented by the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition, on Friday, September 30, 2016 at the JSU Library.  Dr. Glenda Elliott, Dr. Angela Stowe, Kelli Lasseter, Lacy Kennedy and Rick Mula facilitated training to build skills for counselors in school and clinical settings and discuss many ways to support the LGBTQ youth. The training covered topics including: Identities and Terminology, Promoting Family Acceptance, Review our ethical obligations as counselors, Legal Rights of LGBTQ youth in school, Identify Community Resources.

--ALCA Chapter VII, the ALCA College Counseling Division, and the Auburn University Montgomery (AUM) Counseling Center presented a workshop entitled, "Transgender Training for Counselors & Educators: Navigating Ethics, Legality, and Student/Client Concerns" on Friday, September 30.  Jennifer Bradley (Director of AUM Counseling Center and President of ALCA College Counseling Association) and Dr. Paul Hard (President of ALCA Chapter VII and Professor in AUM Counselor Education Dept) collaborated on this project.

ALGBTICAL Board Members Attend ALGBTIC Conference

September 2016


ALGBTICAL board members, Patrick Faircloth and Paul Hard, attended the National ALGBTIC Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

Patrick shared a brief report upon returning from the conference. He said the location of the conference center and hotel was very nice (it was right on the river walk).  There were 250 attendees at the conference. He said the conference was a GRAND success on many levels.


Patrick and Paul presented a content session on working with BDSM clients. 52 people attended Patrick and Paul's presentation. Furthermore, about 20 people stood in line afterwards to sign up to receive a copy of the presentation. Patrick felt that their presentation was extremely well received and was one of the buzz topics at the conference.

All of the content session presentations were first rate.  There was a great mix of folks, including counselors, counselor educators, graduate students, and psychology and social work professionals.


ACA President, Dr. Catherine Roland, was on hand for the event.

Patrick submitted a report to the ACA President on behalf of the LGBT targeted task group that he is a member of.  Additionally, in the same session he was given the opportunity by Dr. Roland to make a public call for BDSM competencies and she agreed that this needs to be on the radar of the ACA and that it was time to have this conversation.

There was also a presentation forwarding the idea that the asexual orientation and a BDSM orientation can be congruent and lead to greater levels of intimacy.  There was a poster presentation about working with BDSM clients too.

Dr. Mark Pope gave a historical and personal account of the origins of ALGBTIC that was very moving and received a standing ovation.


ALGBTICAL Members Participate in Birmingham Pride Parade

June 2016

Under the leadership of ALGBTICAL President Dina Marble, division members marched in the 38th annual Central Alabama Gay Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, in Birmingham.  ALGBTICAL officers and members were part of the festivities and carried banners and signs and threw beads. The ALGBTICAL board members were proud of this opportunity to join with the rest of the community in showing its support for LGBT people.  ALGBTICAL members were counted among the local companies, organizations, groups, agencies, and churches that officially participated in this annual event.




ALGBTICAL Members Participate in Vigil for Orlando Shooting Victims

June 2016


ALGBTICAL officers and members (Dina Marble, Gary Williams, Michael Lebeau, Kat Lawson, Melissa Scott) attended the vigil for the Orlando shooting victims on Monday, June 13 at City Hall and the Courthouse in downtown Birmingham.  The event was sponsored by the City of Birmingham and Central Alabama Pride. City Hall was draped in a huge rainbow flag.  Guest speakers, including Rep. Patricia Todd and a Muslin Imam, made statements.  Music and dancing were provided.  The names of the victims were read aloud.  A candlelit march took place.



Other vigils throughout the state took place, including events on the campuses of the University of Alabama and Auburn University.  Vigils were also conducted in Montgomery and Florence.  ALGBTICAL members (including Paul Hard, Mark Legget, Chris Chirino) participated at those events.


ALGBTICAL at BAO Bingo Fundraiser


June 2016


Birmingham AIDS Outreach (BAO) hosts a Bingo Fundraising Event on the first Monday of each month.  The event attracts a huge crowd.  It's a lot of fun.  And they raise a lot of money to support the ongoing important work that BAO does to help people living with AIDS/HIV.



ALGBTICAL members (Dina Marble, Michael Lebeau, Frank Hrabe) and others attended the June event and took part in the outrageous activities.  An ALGBTICAL t-shirt was donated as one of the door prizes.  Many thanks to ALGBTICAL President Dina Marble for organizing this opportunity for ALGBTICAL members to get involved in the community.


Past President at Pride Fest


June 2014


ALGBTICAL Past President Kelli Lassetter performed at the 2014 Pride Fest! Her acoustic duo, Under the Covers, opened the Pride Fest festivities at Sloss Furnance on Sunday June 8.



Kelli and other performers were part of the 36th annual Central Alabama PrideFest featuring Taylor Dayne and Del Shores, from 12pm to 10pm at Sloss Furnace National Historic Landmark. 


Two other big events took place before the Sunday concert...


On Friday June 6th:

Del Shores ‘My Sordid Life’ featuring Steel City Mens Chorus 730pm Carver Theatre

On Saturday June 7th:

26th annual Central Alabama Pride Parade. 5pts south to 7th avenue south near ‘Our Place’

ALGBTICAL Recognized


May 2013


The ALCA (Alabama Counseling Association) Professional Development Committee has been analyzing the effectiveness of the professional development activities offered by the various ALCA chapters and divisions.  In their latest report to the ALCA Executive Council, and in a recent article in the ALCA Quarterly Newsletter, the committee acknowledged ALGBTICAL for their exemplary advocacy efforts.


The ALCA Professional Development Committee, chaired by Dr. Nancy Fortner (and comprised of Thelma Robinson, Ingie Givens and Frank Hrabe), recognizes the need for ongoing advocacy training for counseling specialty areas in the state and encourages ALCA divisions to be advocates for their member's current issues.  They see advocacy modeling and advocacy training as a professional responsibility.


The committee cited ALGBTICAL as a good example of advocacy modeling and advocacy training.  They acknowledged ALGBTICAL's ongoing advocacy training for their members and other stakeholders.


ALGBTICAL provides this training through its annual Winter Workshop, its website, its collaboration with counselors in various settings, and its ongoing work in the community.


ALGBTICAL Sponsors Pride Fest Event

May 2013


Each year beginning in early June, Birmingham is host to the Central Alabama Pride Celebration, which includes a variety of parties, events, and observances known as the "10 Days of Pride" and culminates with a Gay Pride "Mardi Gras" Parade and day-long Birmingham Pride Fest.  This year's parade took place on Saturday, June 8, 2013, and the Pride Festival will took place the following day (Sunday, June 9, 2013).


ALGBTICAL was a sponsor of this year's Pride Fest activities.  You can view ALGBTICAL's ad in the Pride Guide on page 32.

Paul Hard on Television


March 2013


Dr. Paul Hard was interviewed by a Montgomery television station regarding his views on the same-sex marriage issue.  Paul is an ALCA Past President and active ALGBTICAL member.  He is a licensed counselor and a counselor educator at AUM.



In his on-air interview on local NBC affiliate WSFA-TV, Paul Hard talks about Americans' changing attitudes on same-sex marriage.  He says that "people who are vehement about this subject are losing the human face of suffering and pain...  When people can look past their political and religious differences to the heart of a person, I find they are much more in favor."


Paul was also interviewed by the local CBS affiliate, WAKA-TV.  In that print interview, Paul was quoted as saying, ""If we can see past the religious and we can see past the dogma, and see past the politics of this thing, we see that these are human beings that are being effected by an unjust law. Not just a political party. This isn't about republican or democrat, this is about human beings that are badly affected."


Paul's comments in both interviews were eloquent and compelling.


WSFA-TV Interview (Video) with Paul Hard

WAKA-TV Interview (Print) with Paul Hard

Paul Hard at Hate Crimes Vigil


Safe Zone Program at Bham-Southern College


March 2013


ALGBTICAL Past President, Michael Lebeau, is part of a newly formed coordinating committee that is in the process of implementing an Ally Training Program at Birmingham-Southern College to provide LGBT resources to faculty and students. 



Michael (who has had experience with safe zone programs at other campuses) presented an inaugural train-the-trainer session to members of the committee in preparation for the first campus-wide training sessions due to take place this summer, beginning with the Resident Advisor staff.  This new LGBT safe zone initiative has broad support from the BSC administration, faculty and staff.


Michael Lebeau is a career counselor at Birmingham-Southern College and is working in collaboration with other staff and faculty at BSC to provide this needed service to the campus.


ALGBTICAL Members Interviewed

November 2012


A columnist in Norway, Henning Carr Ekroll, was researching an article she was writing on same sex marriage and LGBT rights in the United States.  She interviewed ALGBTICAL President Jessica Merchant (and her wife Amanda) and ALGBTICAL member Paul Hard.


In the article entitled "Political Struggle for Gay Marriage," the Norwegian columnist highlighted Jessica and Amanda's relationship, saying, "Amanda and Jessica are a legally married couple in Iowa. But in their home state of Alabama they are considered simply two single women."


The article pointed out, "The issue of gay marriage is causing splits in US policy and was one of the most important value issues in the fall presidential election."



The article also featured Paul Hard and his thoughts on his marriage to David.  The article states, "Paul lost his husband David in a car accident last year. The two had married in Massachusetts, but since the accident occurred in Alabama, Paul had no rights as married couples usually do when one party dies." 


Paul said, "When I got to the hospital they would not say how David died. I felt that the nurses seemed confused and were unsure if it was actually allowed to let me know what had happened." 


The article explained, "In Alabama, the late David was legally regarded as a single man. Money that would normally be paid as financial assistance to the remaining spouse went straight to the government. Paul had to arrange everything himself."  


"I'm still paying for both the wedding and the funeral," Paul said.


Norwegian Article: Same Sex Marriage & LGBT Rights


ALGBTICAL Prez at Out of Darkness Event


November 2012


ALGBTICAL President Jessica Merchant is very active in the community!  She represented ALGBTICAL at the Out of Darkness Walk on Sunday, November 4.  The Out of the Darkness Walk supports the good work of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. ALGBTICAL had a table set up and handouts for participants.



Jessica reported that, "There was a great turnout with over 1,200 walkers and over $110,000 raised for AFSP. ALGBTICAL was well represented with over 40 visitors at our booth and young adult supporters ranging in age 7-25 and parents."


ALGBTICAL Prez Speaks at Chapter V Event

"I love this division and the work we are doing."


October 2012


ALGBTICAL President Elect Kelli Lasseter spoke to the members and attendees at the Chapter V Workshop on Friday, October 19 on the Jacksonville State University campus.


Chapter V President Ashley Garrett granted Kelli the opportunity to make a presentation to the group about ALGBTICAL.  Kelli spoke about the mission and activities of the division, distributed membership materials, and gave out purple Spirit Day ribbons.



Kelli said, "I had such a great time and really feel like I made some great contacts.  Afterwards lots of folks came up to ask questions, offer support and collect our materials.  It was so cool looking out over that audience and seeing colleagues wearing the ribbons in support of the LGBT community. I love this division and the work we are doing."


Kelli Lasseter, who is Project Coordinator of the Health Services Center in Anniston, is the current President Elect for ALGBTICAL.


ALGBTICAL Prez in Atlanta Pride Parade


October 2012


The 42nd Annual Atlanta Pride Festival took place on Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14 in Atlanta's Piedmont Park.  The main event was the Annual Atlanta Pride Parade, which took place on Sunday, October 14 at 1:00 PM.  It is the largest parade in the City of Atlanta. Thousands of spectators were on hand to watch the procession on the streets of Midtown Atlanta.



ALGBTICAL Officer Michael Lebeau marched in the Atlanta Pride Parade with some of his students from Birmingham-Southern College.  This is the second year that the BSC Gay Straight Ally Group was an official participant in the parade, featuring 25 students and four faculty and staff members.




ALGBTICAL Meet & Greet Event in Montgomery


September 2012


ALGBTICAL sponsored a special organizational Meet & Greet event in Montgomery on Friday, September 21, on the AUM campus.  With over 75 people in attendance, and lots of good networking activity taking place, it certainly was a successful event! 



The event included the regular business meeting of the ALGBTICAL Executive Council along with socializing and networking afterwards.  Attendees to the event had the opportunity to talk with representatives from local LGBT organizations, service providers, and advocacy groups...  Safe Schools Coalition...  Family Sunshine Center...  Hate Crimes Vigil...  Montgomery AIDS Outreach...  PFLAG Montgomery...  Out of Darkness/Theta Gamma Xi...  Southern Poverty Law Center.



ALGBTICAL Officers who attended included President Jessica Merchant, Paul Hard, Glenda Elliott, Secretary Angela Stowe, Jamie Satcher, and Michael Lebeau.


ALGBTICAL was pleased to co-sponsor this event with...   AUM Gay Straight Alliance...  and AUM Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Honor Society.


ALGBTICAL members, Alabama counselors, the LBGT community, and ally groups came together for this fun and informative Meet & Greet event.  Many thanks to Paul Hard for his role in hosting this activity.





June 2012


On Sunday, June 24, 2012, Jessica Merchant presided over her first ALGBTICAL Board Meeting as division president.  The board meeting was a business meeting and planning retreat.  It was held at Jessica's home in Alabaster.


In attendance were Glenda Elliott, Jamie Satcher, Deegan Malone, Gary Williams, Katherine Hirsch, Kelli Lassiter, Paul Hard, and Michael Lebeau.


Glenda announced that ALCA President Necoal Driver expressed interest in having an LGBT keynote speaker at the upcoming ALCA Annual Conference.  It was suggested that Josh Burford be submitted for consideration.


The board sought to clarify the duties of the President Elect position and agreed to remove the informal expectation that the President Elect oversee the planning of the Winter Workshop.  The board further agreed to formally assign the oversight of the Winter Workshop to an official Workshop Committee and Chair.  The President Elect would be expected to serve on, but not chair, the Workshop Committee.


The board discussed ways to expand the Graduate Student Liaison Committee. 


 A Membership Event was discussed.  It was suggested that ALGBTICAL host a membership meeting in Montgomery prior to the ALCA Fall Conference.  Friday, Sept 21 was recommended as a possible date.  The suggested agenda: Board Meeting at 3:30 followed by a Reception at 5:00. 


AUM Diversity Week


April 2012


ALGBTICAL member, Dr. Paul Hard, was a participant in Auburn University Montgomery's Diversity Week program on April 24. 


The program, entitled, "Modern Family: Gay in Alabama: An Out and Open Discussion," featured such stellar panelists as Representative Patricia Todd (the first openly gay person in the Alabama House of Representatives), Sam Wolfe (a civil rights lawyer with the Southern Poverty Law Center), Ralph Young (Vice Chair of Equality Alabama), and, of course, Dr. Paul Hard (Instructor at AUM School of Education).


ALGBTICAL at AIDS Fundraiser


April 2012


ALGBTICAL members participated in a community AIDS/HIV fundraising event on April 26 at Jackson's Bar & Grill in SoHo in Homewood.  On hand to support this worthy cause were Jessica Merchant and her wife Amanda, Frank Hrabe and his partner Jeff, Gary Williams and his wife Katherine Hirsch, and Michael Lebeau.



ALGBTICAL at Birmingham Pride Parade

June 2011


Central Alabama Pride presented its annual Pride Parade on Saturday, June 11, in Birmingham.  ALGBTICAL was an official part of the event and several of its officers and members marched in the parade.



A successful effort by ALGBTICAL provided support and awareness at this year’s Central Pride Event held in downtown Birmingham. Collaboration of members and officers attending, included Glenda Elliott, Jeanell Norvell, Jessica Merchant, Melissa Scott, and two enduring supporters, provided representation in this festive event. Everyone enjoyed seeing the hundreds of supporters lining in the streets and the warm, welcoming chants and atmosphere provided by Central Pride fans. ALGBTICAL will continue to promote better understanding of sexual minority issues and engaging community awareness efforts through its amazing members’ support and enthusiasm. 




September 2010


On September 18-19, 2010, the members of the ALGBTICAL Executive Board met for a weekend-long strategic planning meeting.  Presided over by President Melissa Scott, the meeting was an opportunity for the officers to engage in some productive brainstorming and planning.



Among the items under discussion were the following priorities and plans:


Be a meaningful, active, supportive presence statewide.

-Partner with ALAMCD on their Year of Diversity

-Establish chapter contacts to build a statewide LGBT-friendly counselor list

-Be active at ALCA Conference


Collaborate with ALCA to obtain Judy Shepard, an inspirational, educational, LGBT-related national speaker.


Support, equip, and educate school counselors to be courageous and effective advocates for LGBT-related issues in schools.

-Continue to be a member of the Alabama Safe Schools Coalition

-Have a representative of ALGBTICAL as a member of the Safe Schools Coalition Coordinating Committee

-Assess need and opportunities to be more involved with school counselors and in school systems

-Partner with ALSCA


Effectively and widely disseminate useful, practical, applicable, current information regarding LGBT-related issues.

-Set up an email database, using email addresses on our member list

-Send out a quarterly e-newsletter

-Send out emails from the president about pressing issues and upcoming events as needed

-Maintain active website





Association for Lesbian Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama