There are four traits Nadine Jacquemin lists as parental musts – love, compassion, acceptance and support.
“Be there for your children no matter what,” Jacquemin said.
One hundred students, many from South Florida, are expected to participate in the annual Peace Ambassador Leadership Summit, organizers said. The summit is a seven-day conference at Florida International University in Miami.
Jowharah Sanders, executive director and founder of National Voices for Equality Education and Enlightenment (NVEEE), is attending. The summit, Sanders said, is not LGBT in theme but still welcoming to all.
NVEEE is a bullying and suicide prevention organization.
“We do a lot of educating and building allies,” Sanders said.
Sanders was selected to SFGN’s OUT50 group in 2014. At the time her organization had recently been granted funding from World Wrestling Entertainment, the famed professional wrestling brand owned by Vince and Linda McMahon.
Four years later Sanders is helping to promote next month’s summit at FIU, describing it in peaceful terms.
“Parents always tell me how enlightened they are after attending,” Sanders said.
Jacquemin in one of those parents. She is the mother of a transgender teen.
“Life skills,” Jacquemin replied when asked what attendees can expect to get from the summit.
Jacquemin said she is from France and is interested in yoga. She said yoga exercises help manage her anxiety and relaxes her mind.
Theo Brombacher, 17, is Jacquemin’s almost adult child. Brombacher identifies as “masculine queer” and will serve as a counselor at this year’s PALS. Brombacher recently started taking testosterone and is planning to have “top surgery” – a standard procedure for trans guys.
Bullying, Brombacher said, can be alleviated with a change in environment. This is often times the first and most difficult step.
“They keep frenemies,” Sanders said. “A lot of girls want to stay in a certain group so they endure bullying.”
Cyber bullying is a huge issue, Sanders said and educational organizations are seeing an increase in the need for bullying and suicide prevention workshops.
“If you are being bullied, get the facts, keep notes and always tell somebody – a trusted person,” Sanders said.
The summit (July 16-23) is open to students ages 14-19. PFLAG (Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays), Sanders said, is a sponsor and SunServe is supporting the summit.
For enrollment information, call 954-866-5880 or visit www.NVEEE.org