For the sixth year in a row, United Action for Youth (UAY) is hosting PrideCon, a youth summit for LGTBTQ+ youth and their parents/caregivers. This summit provides a space where young people can connect with peers, learn about new topics, and receive support.

This year’s PrideCon takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29, 2020, at Elizabeth Tate High School,1528 Mall Drive. This day-long event will be free and open to all LGBTQ+ junior high and high school students in the area. Youth are asked to register online to confirm their attendance, receive a free t-shirt, and provide important registration information, such as emergency contacts and lunch preferences.

Last year, this event drew 75 youth from around the area. Participants from age 11-18 were excited about the opportunity to have a welcoming space to be themselves and to be part of an inclusive community. This year, UAY looks forward to expanding the reach of this event to include young people from throughout East Central and Southeast Iowa.

UAY has provided a group for LGBTQ+ youth for nearly 25 years. The current group, called Pride, meets weekly at the Swaim Youth Center in Downtown Iowa City to provide a safe and encouraging space for young people to give and receive support. The group has suggested topics they would like to see addressed at this year’s PrideCon event and group members are active in the community, participating in the Iowa City Pride Fest Parade every year and recently hosting an art show at FilmScene.

Topics for breakout sessions at this year’s PrideCon are focused on exploring identity through such topics as spoken word poetry, astrology, and healthy relationships. Participants will also be invited to interact with community members at a panel discussion lead by local out, LGBTQ athletes, and a presentation by Sadie McDowell of the Iowa City Fire Department.

Other activities will include improv theatre, jewelry making, and a look at the intersection of Queer and gaming culture. A Drag Performance by Frankie D Lover, Ophelia Belle, Hazel Sanchez, Roxie Mess, and other local talent will close the festivities.

Opportunities for parents and caregivers of LGBTQ+ youth will also be available at UAY’s Eastdale Plaza location from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. with a free lunch being offered to parents at noon. This event happens simultaneously to the youth summit, and features Dr. Michael Colburn, members of the UAY counseling team, and local parents who will share their experience in raising LGBTQ+ children and navigating their care and support. This event is free, and parents are asked to register online to confirm their attendance.

PrideCon 2020 is hosted by UAY and is made possible by a grant from the Johnson County Decategorization Board. Support from the City of Iowa City Human Rights Office, Green State Credit Union, University of Iowa Health Care, Old Capitol Screen Printers, Natasha Wendt of Urban Acres, Collins Aerospace, Amana Family Practice, and private donors have made this event possible.

For more information or to register (both youth and parents) for the event, visit:

Contact UAY Therapist Tim Grady at or 319-338-7518 with additional questions about PrideCon registration or the PrideCon parent session.

Date of publication

Thursday, February 20, 2020