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Women's Fest set for May 8 at The Center

SAN DIEGO -- The schedule for the educational, inspiring and eye-opening Women’s Fest 2010 has been announced.

Women’s Fest is a day of entertainment, workshops and fun for lesbian, bisexual and transgender (LBT) women and their allies.

The event is free and is meant to help and empower LBT women to learn, gain access to important medical resources and celebrate women’s creativity.

Women’s Fest 2010 will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 8, at The Center, 3909 Centre St. in Hillcrest.

The theme of this year’s event is “Strength in Diversity” and aims to celebrate the many diverse women and their passions that make up the LBT community.

The event boasts a delicious lunch from Pizza Fusion, a performance by the San Diego Women’s Chorus, and numerous local artisans and vendors.

The schedule of events:

Workshop Track 1

It’s Time to Throw Our Weight Around: The Fat Studies Reader

Presented by Esther Rothblum, Ph.D., SDSU faculty member. Fat studies is a field of scholarship that critically examines societal attitudes about body weight and appearance, and that advocates equality for all people with respect to body size. Fat studies scholars ask why we oppress people who are fat and who benefits from that oppression. In that regard, fat studies are similar to academic disciplines that focus on race, ethnicity, gender or age. This workshop will focus on fat studies and advocacy for LBT women.

Intro to DJ’ing

Presented by DJ Sandra Ware. Have you always dreamed of getting behind a set of turntables and rocking out? Ware will cover the basics: a brief history of DJ culture, DJ terminology explained and an overview of basic technique. No previous musical experience necessary.

Aging in the Comfort of Your Own Home

Presented by Barbara Ripley, Comfort Keepers. As we age, we must make many important decisions regarding our care, housing and well-being. Can we stay at home? Will we be forced to enter assisted living or a nursing home? For LGBT individuals, these questions can be even more complicated and stress-inducing. This workshop will provide participants with resources for aging comfortably at home and growing old with dignity.

Cycles of Wholeness: Getting Off the Hormone Roller-Coaster

Presented by Andrea Beth Damsky, licensed acupuncturist. Many women suffer from hormone changes with PMS, painful menstrual periods, and during menopause, but most do not know that their suffering can be relieved! Damsky specializes in helping women who suffer monthly, and at the end of their time of monthly cycles. In this workshop, she will explain why symptoms such as headaches, irritability, fatigue, cramps, night sweats (and more) happen, and how women with these symptoms can benefit from treatment with acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. Self-help information will also be provided.

I Am Not a Check Box (18 and over)

Presented by Erin Burgoon and Andi Segur. From the U.S. Census to forms at the doctor’s office, we all have occasions to fill out check boxes on our age, sexual orientation, race/ethnicity and gender. What do you do when none of the given check boxes fit you? In this workshop, we will focus primarily on the check box of gender. What does it mean to identify as neither male nor female – or in some cases, not even as transgender? Further what is the place in the LGBT community for those whose gender identity does not fall into a neat category? Movement, discussion and group interaction are all part of this workshop.

Noon – Lunch. Performance by the San Diego Women’s Chorus; Lunch from Pizza Fusion is served.

12:30 p.m. – Lunchtime panel discussion: Queer Moms Tell All: The Truth about LGBT Parenting. Mother’s Day is the day after Women’s Fest. In honor of this special day, the festival will feature a panel discussion on the experience of LGBT parenting. Families are created in many ways – via adoption, donor insemination, foster parenting and more. This panel will feature real moms telling true stories about pregnancy, parenthood, playgroups and more. Childcare will be available for the duration of the panel (contact Jane from Family Matters for more information).

12-3 p.m. – Free traditional Chinese medicine tongue and pulse diagnosis, provided by workshop presenter Andrea Beth Damsky

2-3 p.m. – Workshop Track 2

Women of Color United Panel

Facilitated by Danyeil Woods. Women of Color United is a discussion and social group for LBT women that meets on Saturdays at The Center. In this panel discussion, members of the group will share their insight and experience when it comes to coming out as queer women of color. Discussion will also focus on the experience of being an LBT woman of color living in a predominantly heterosexual society.

Vibrant Love: Creating Strong Relationships through Our Differences (18 and over)

Presented by Heather M Berberet, Psy.D. Differences between our selves and our lover can be a source of great strength in a relationship. This workshop will teach participants ways to increase their intimacy and connection to each other through exploring, understanding and appreciating the differences between them.

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Being Trans but Were Afraid to Ask (18 and over)

Presented by Connor Maddocks, president of FTMI San Diego and co-chair of TASC. What does it mean to be a transgender person? What are the steps involved in transitioning from one gender to another? How does an individual come out as trans and what are some of the issues involved in the process? Maddocks will answer these and other questions in an informative workshop geared towards those who want to learn more about the transgender community.

The Amazon Breast Project

Presented by Catrina Flores, Amazon Breast Project. Did you know that lesbians have a greater risk of developing breast cancer than other women? The Amazon Breast Project conducts monthly networking and outreach activities to increase awareness among lesbians of the need for breast cancer screening and treatment. Family Health Centers of San Diego also conducts a lesbian health clinic to provide lesbian women breast health education, clinical breast exams and referrals for mammograms. This workshop will introduce you to the Amazon Breast Project and all they have to offer.

Climbing Your Family Tree

Presented by Laura Ledeboer. Do you want to know more about your roots? Genealogy is extremely popular these days as more and more people use online tools to learn about their ancestors. The how-to, hands-on workshop will let you start tracking your ancestors today. Feel free to bring information and materials to the class to see where they lead. Class size limited.

3:30-4:30 p.m. Workshop Track 3

Building Healthy Families in 2010

Presented by Lori L. Arnold, M.D., California Center for Reproductive Medicine. Are you ready to grow your family but not sure where to start? Confused about all the fertility options that are now available to same sex couples? This workshop will cover all the basics: pre-conception care, fertility evaluation, treatment options for having a healthy baby and more.

Like Water: The Fluidity of Sexuality (18 and over)

Presented by Lea Caughlan, co-owner of The Rubber Rose in North Park. No two bodies, personalities or sexual experiences are exactly the same. As humans, we all identify differently, possess different likes and dislikes, and express our sexuality in unique and diverse ways. This workshop will discuss the fluidity of sexuality and the ways in which a better understanding of our passions and desires can improve our relationships and intimate experiences.

Building Healthy Relationships to End Gender Violence

Presented by Kat Wager, Center for Community Solutions. This workshop will explore how pop culture feeds into gender violence. Participants will come away with easy, hands-on tools to help create healthy interpersonal relationships and prevent sexual assault and gender violence.

Exploración Sexual Saludable -- Healthy Sexual Exploration (in Espanol) Presented by Carolina Ramos, coordinator of Latino Services at The Center. En este taller exploraremos como el sexismo ha influenciado nuestras creencias sobre el sexo. Hablaremos de cómo profundizar satisfacción sexual sin culpabilidad. In this workshop participants will explore how sexism has influenced the way we think about sex. Participants will also discuss how to maximize your pleasure without feeling guilty.