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March in Birmingham Pride Parade
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
President-Elect Paul Hard, and
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
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
The 2019 parade lasted just over
one hour and had over 80 groups,
businesses, and organizations
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
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
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
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
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
Patrick Faircloth Interview on Trojan Talk
Glenda Elliott Interview on NPR Story Corps
Interview on WSFA-TV
ALGBTICAL at BAO Bingo Fundraiser
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
ALGBTICAL board members, Gary
Williams and Michael Lebeau, attended the
December event and took part in
the outrageous activities.
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
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
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
Recent LGBT Workshops
--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
ALGBTICAL board members, Patrick Faircloth
and Paul Hard, attended the National ALGBTIC Conference in San Antonio,
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
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
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
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
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
Past President at Pride Fest
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.
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
Two other big events took place before the
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’
The ALCA (Alabama Counseling
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
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
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
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
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
Paul's comments in both interviews were eloquent and compelling.
(Video) with Paul Hard
WAKA-TV Interview (Print) with
Paul Hard at Hate Crimes Vigil
Safe Zone Program at Bham-Southern
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
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
ALGBTICAL Members Interviewed
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.
their home state of Alabama they are considered simply two single
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
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.
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
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
"I love this division and
the work we are doing."
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
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
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
ALGBTICAL Officer Michael Lebeau
marched in the Atlanta Pride
Parade with some of his students
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
ALGBTICAL Meet & Greet Event in
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
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.
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.
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.
discussed ways to expand the Graduate Student Liaison Committee.
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
AUM Diversity Week
Dr. Paul Hard, was a participant in Auburn University Montgomery's
Diversity Week program on April 24.
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
ALGBTICAL at AIDS Fundraiser
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
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.
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.
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
-Partner with ALAMCD on their Year of
-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
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
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Association for Lesbian
Gay Bisexual & Transgender Issues in Counseling of Alabama