A gynandromorph butterfly with the transgender pride flag for the front wing and the rainbow pride flag on the rear wing On Servants Wings
Resources and Reflections by Ari Leigh

Past Workshops


FRIES & Friends: Exploring Polyamory

Presented at:  True Colors (2017)


Have you ever wondered what would happen if the hapless individuals in Hollywood’s infamous ‘love triangles’ were to have an honest and respectful conversation? Curious about what polyamory actually involves? Wanting to learn more about how to decide if poly is right for you? FRIES & Friends explores ethical non-monogamy by focusing on the skills needed to nurture healthy relationships of all types. From friends and family to lovers and flings, we’ll be trading tools to identify the relationships we want, how to set (and respect) boundaries, along with ways to communicate with our partner(s) and ourselves. This workshop evolved into Exploring Polyamory with Real Live Polyamorous Adults

Imagining Identity in the Ignatian Tradition

Presented at:  Philadelphia Trans Health Conference (2016)


Who am I? Whose am I? What am I? The questions of identity are often woven within the spiritual fabric of our being. In the Christian tradition, Ignatius of Loyola, offers one way to live into these questions using the powerful resource of our imagination. By stepping into sacred stories, placing ourselves in various times and places, it is possible to listen for the rhythms within our heart. In this workshop, storytelling and conversation were used to lay the foundation for a spiritual exercise on identity inspired by the Ignatian practice of imaginative contemplation. Developed by an agender individual with a genderful experience, this meditation is designed to use a Christian framework to delve into questions that transcend boundaries and limitation. Through powerful descriptions and lingering silence participants were invited to embrace questions in order to free ourselves to live into the answers.

Explore the meditations

Peeing In Peace

Panel at:  Fantasia Fair (2016)


Bathroom use is something most of the world takes for granted. In public settings you find the restroom of your gender and those are the facilities you use. While this has always been more complicated for trans folk, the matter has recently become a major political football in the United States. This panel will focus on the ramifications of this with respect to the political, social, moral, and activist issues involved. Panel with Diego Miguel Sanchez, Mara Keisling, Dr Miqqi Alicia Gilbert, and myself.

I Want to Love You: Relational Advocacy and Self Care Among Partially Supportive Family and Friends

Presented at:  True Colors (2016)


This workshop explored ways of staying in healthy relationship with people who are partially supportive. Often gender, romantic and sexual minorities who invite their communities to share their experience are presented with a horrifying dichotomy, either your family & friends are totally supportive and you ride into the sunset or they are terrible people who reject you and you must learn how to cope. This workshop is designed support those whose communities are in the middle. We will explore homes that aren’t safe but that still provide needed support along with ways of deciding when to be patient, firm, and firmly patient. By delving into the three most common barriers to ally formation (fear of change/loss, the isms, and peer pressure) we will provide each other with tools to decide when, if and how to stay present when sharing our identities with the people we care about.

Queer Orthodoxy: Reclaiming the Holy Queer

Presented at:  True Colors (2015, 2016),   Philadelphia Transgender Health Conference (2016),   Fantasia Fair(2016)


With waves of churches rushing to “progressive” Christianity our subversive history is often lost in our zeal to distance ourselves from corrupt forms of religion that weaponize our language and traditions. Yet we can learn to see ourselves within the ancient manuscripts of our faith and to hear our gender bending, sexual ancestors teaching us from centuries past. For too long we’ve let certain sects dictate the terms within which we can explore our genders and sexuality in our faiths. It’s time to reclaim our history, to remember the radical nature of faith, and to relearn the stories we’ve forgotten. Led by a genderqueer pansexual Christian who daily prays the ancient creeds this is a space to embrace the sacramentality of ourselves, to grow into an understanding of faith that embraces the healing truth of scripture and learn how we can find ourselves within the roots of our tradition.

Transgender Youth Workshop

Panel Hosted By:  Grace Episcopal Church Newington, CT (2015)


An event to educate people about who our transgender youth are, what it means to be a transgender young person; identify gaps in services and support to transgender youth in schools, mental health treatment, places of worship, sports programs,families, and all other places where transgender youth live and interact; and to develop specific and concrete goals for workshop participants to make positive change in our institutions so that transgender youth and their families feel supported and welcomed in all aspects of our community. The panel consisted of Diana Lombardi, M.S.W., Marie Alford-Harkey M.Div, and myself.

Questioning Gender, Questioning Faith: Spiritual Resources to Explore Identity

Presented at:  Fantasia Fair(2014) True Colors (2015) Transcending Boundaries (2015)


Inspired by a need to break the binding narrative of binaries, this workshop was designed to encourage a healthy embrace of questions. This space demonstrated how faith and religious resources can be used to support ourselves as we continue to explore who we are and who we are becoming. Storytelling and conversation were used to lay the foundation for a spiritual exercise on identity inspired by the Ignatian practice of imaginative contemplation. Through powerful descriptions and lingering silence this workshop was an invitation to embrace our questions in order to free ourselves to live into the answers. While this workshop is primarily drawn from Christian resources on discerning identity, people from all backgrounds of belief and unbelief were invited to this conversation.

Explore the meditations

"I Called You by Name": TransForming Faith for All Genders

Presented at:  True Colors (2014)  


Seeking the via media (middle ground) between a spiritual coming out story and discussion this workshop was designed to equip participants with tools for discerning their identity, offer time for personal exploration, and provide space to reflect on how religious institutions are responding to the rise of individuals who were made in an image of God who goes beyond assumptions of masculinity and femininity. Hosted by a Bigender Episcopalian participants of all backgrounds were invited to join the conversation about how we can respond to the gift of diverse gender identities.

Oppression Dynamics Workshop: Owning Up & Stepping Up

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (Apr. & Sept. 2013)


Workshop and activities designed to promote a healthy reflection on the dynamics of privilege and oppression and how we can respond when we witness such destructive power dynamics in action.

Exploring the Gender Non-Binary

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2013)


This event consisted of conversation and activities to engage with gender in ways that go beyond social assumptions of masculinity and femininity.

Voices of Witness Out of the Box

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E   &   Episcopal Campus Ministry of ESU(2013)


In 2012 Integrity USA and TransEpiscopal released the film Voices of Witness: Out of the Box, a groundbreaking documentary that centers transgender people of faith courageously telling their stories of hope, healing and wholeness. This showing and conversation was hosted to create a space for gender, romantic, and sexual minorities to explore their own relationship with spirituality , religion, and their various identities.

"Sex, Please": Examining Western Societies Division of Individuals

Presented at:  Kansas Library Association (2012) ESU Research and Creativity Day(2012) MBLGTACC (2013)


“Sex Please”: Examining Western Societies Division of Individuals” is an effort to open discussion about how our society categorizes sex, the impact of those categories, and what can be done to reveal the truth about individuals who exist outside of these categories. This was accomplished by examining social, medical, and legal definitions of sex, with an emphasis on those whose sex varies depending on which definition is used. The powerpoint for this workshop is availible here.

The Other Sides of the Coin: Breaking the Gender Binary

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2013), MBLGTACC (2012)


The Other Sides of The Coin combines activity, discussion and personal experience to provide a safe place that enables cisgender/gender conforming individuals to explore gender roles outside of the gender binary, the effects of gender socialization, and provides tools to interact with people of all genders. The goal of this exercise wass to develop empathy, understanding and communication with and about the transgender/gender non-conforming community.

Transgender Day Of Remembrance Vigil

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011,2012)


A local adaptation of the nation-wide Transgender Day of Remembrance designed to remember and honor those who were murdered in the past year because of their gender identity. Due to cultural needs these events were also designed to speak of the resiliency of transgender individuals and share some history about the transgender community.

H.A.V.E.N.

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011,2012) MBLGTACC (2012)


The Healthy, Accepting, Venue and Educational Network (H.A.V.E.N.) was an adaptation of GLSEN's Safe Space program designed specifically to meet the needs of LGBTQIA students at Emporia State University. The program was co-created by Luke Wolford and Andrew Amanda Leigh-Bullard (now Ari Leigh) based on their experiences of discrimination within that institution and in other settings.

Business + Intimacy: Dangers & Pleasures

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011)


A facilitated conversation about the potential consequences of being open about one’s gender identity, sexual orientation, or romantic interests within a professional setting. With an emphasis on the field of education, members of People Respecting Individuality and Diversity in Education (PRIDE) shared how they planned to cope with the lack of legal protection for their identities within Kansas.

Celebrating Our Past: LBGTQA History

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011)


A one hour workshop that provided an overview of major movements that shaped LGBTQIA culture and identity.

A Rose By Any Other Name

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011)


This was a facilitated conversation about identities, names, stereotypes and the labels we use to share our experiences with one another.

LGBTTQQAAAIIFOPHK...What?

Presented at:  ESU P.R.I.D.E (2011)


This event used card matching games and activities to promote familiarity with the different terms used in the gender, romantic and sexual minority (LGBTQIA) community.

While many of these workshops have been retired, we're always delighted to bring back old favorites. Please contact us if you would like to learn more about how to bring them to your area.