Friday, December 7, 2012

FAQs about FLGBTQC Mid-Winter Gathering

from the Frequently-Asked Questions page:

Are straight, cisgender people welcome at FLGBTQC Gatherings?
Yes! We are called "Friends for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer Concerns" because we welcome all Friends (and Quaker-friendly folks) for whom LGBTQ issues are important. Our gatherings tend to be LGBTQ-oriented spaces, where many or most people speak from experience as LGBTQ folks, and the hetero- and cis-centeredness of much of the rest of the world is explicitly challenged. The straight allies who have been valued members of our community at various times have given a great gift in their willingness to engage lovingly and thoughtfully on LGBTQ issues.
Where can I find out more about how to be fragrance-free? What products are safe to use?
As a good starting resource, we recommend this website, written by an active participant in FLGBTQC. It includes information on why fragrance is an important access issue, as well as practical advice on how to go fragrance-free and what products to use.
I'm flying into Wilkes-Barre/Scranton airport. What flight times should I be looking for?
Midwinter programming generally starts with dinner on Friday, and ends with lunch on Monday. So, factoring in distance from the airport and arriving early to check in, ideal flights would arrive between about noon and 4pm on Friday, and depart after 4pm on Monday. That being said, there tends to be a lot of variation in when people arrive and depart based on when they can get an affordable flight, so if you're flying via Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, we'll probably be doing later runs (until 10pm or so) on Friday and earlier runs (starting with the earliest morning flights) on Monday than the limited window of "ideal times."
I'm a teenager and I'd like to attend Midwinter without my parents. Can I do that?
Yup! You will need permission from your parent or legal guardian, and you'll also need to identify an adult who IS attending Midwinter who can sponsor you. If you don't know any adults who are coming, let us know. We may be able to work with you on finding a sponsor.
I'm a parent attending with kids of different ages. How will my family be accommodated in housing, etc?
We have a few different housing types available that will allow for a variety of configurations for families, including motel-style (two big beds, private bathroom), the "inn" (three twin beds, bathroom shared between two neighboring rooms), and bunk rooms. Let us know what you need, and we'll work with you to figure out a good arrangement for your family.
How do I donate to FLGBTQC to help make more scholarship money available for this, or other, gatherings?
You can donate to FLGBTQC through our website. General donations to FLGBTQC are used for travel assistance grants to people attending our gatherings, financial support for Midwinter, publishing our newsletter, and a few other small administrative costs. If you'd prefer to donate directly to increase financial aid for Midwinter 2013, you can include a donation with your registration fees, or use the "contact us" page to work out another method with us as needed.
How much financial aid is usually available? Can you cover my entire registration fee?
General affordability, paired with financial aid for those who can't pay the published registration fees, is a major commitment for us, though of course funds are not unlimited. It is unusual, but not unheard of, for us to cover an individual's entire registration cost. Please request what you feel you need to in order to realistically afford to attend Midwinter. We want you there, and we also want to give assistance to others!
Is assistance available to help with my travel costs?
Yes. FLGBTQC has specifically designated a separate fund to assist people with the cost of travel to and from our gatherings, including airfare, train or bus tickets, or a new chain for your bicycle (just kidding... maybe?). It is a separate process to request travel assistance than to request financial aid for registration costs. Submit your travel assistance request through the "contact us" form, where it will be forwarded to the co-clerks of FLGBTQC. Include information about your total transportation costs, what mode of travel you're using, specific amount that you are requesting from them, and contact information for you.
Do I need to make my travel arrangements before I register?
No, you can register before making travel arrangements. But make sure to let us know what your plans are are once you've made them, even if you don't need to arrange a shuttle with us!
Can I bring my baby?
Please do! Our youth programs welcome all kids under 18, and we'll be happy to work with you on how to accommodate food, naps, bedtime, and any other particular needs of your small child.
Can I come for a day or two, but not the whole weekend?
Yes, we welcome part-time attenders at Midwinter. However, we will not be providing airport shuttles on any days other than Friday and Monday, and on-site housing is available only as a package for the entire weekend. There are several hotels nearby where you can stay if you only want to overnight for a day or two-- contact us if you need help finding them!
What kind of housing is available?
Bryn Mawr Mountain Retreat offers motel-style rooms (two queen-sized beds in a room with attached bath), the "inn" (three single beds with bathrooms shared between two rooms), and large bunk rooms with shared bathrooms in the "lodge." In addition to these options, we welcome commuters staying with friends or in one of the nearby hotels.

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