February 21, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LGBT Center to Host Groundbreaking Conference for LGBT Widows and Widowers in L.A.

Renowned Designer, Author, Advocate Nate Berkus to Give Keynote Address

On Saturday, February 29, the Los Angeles LGBT Center will host an innovative conference known as Camp Widow to serve members of the LGBTQ+ community who have experienced the death of a spouse or partner.

“Losing someone you share your life with changes you forever, and I know firsthand how difficult that can be,” keynote speaker Nate Berkus said. “I feel privileged to be sharing my experience and personal journey at this year’s conference.”

In 2004, Berkus’ partner Fernando Bengoechea was swept away by a catastrophic tsunami in Sri Lanka during the couple’s trip. According to news reports, the tsunami, which also devastated parts of Thailand and Indonesia, killed hundreds of thousands of people—many of them still missing.

The highly anticipated daylong event will be held at the Center’s Anita May Rosenstein Campus. It will feature workshops, discussions, and practical tools and resources produced by nonprofit organization Soaring Spirits International.

“Before marriage equality, many LGBT couples kept their relationships hidden as they endured discrimination and experienced the stigma associated with the AIDS crisis, when compared to their heterosexual counterparts,” said Los Angeles LGBT Center’s Director of Senior Services Kiera Pollock, M.S.W. “What Camp Widow will bring to the Center is the validation that all widows and widowers matter, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Everyone who has lost a partner, spouse, or significant other deserve to have a community of support to grieve—and then thrive.”

The Camp Widow Los Angeles event will take place Saturday, February 29 from 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. at the Anita May Rosenstein Campus. The event costs $50, but financial assistance may be available for income-qualified attendees. To register, visit campwidow.org/camp/los-angeles . For more information about the Center’s Senior Services, visit lalgbtcenter.org/seniors.

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