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How We Can Work Together
1. PODCAST GUEST
As an avid podcast listener, it’s always a pleasure to experience shows from the other side as a guest or co-host. Looking for someone to chat with about disrupting the wedding industrial complex? Or what it’s like to discover new identities later in life? Or maybe you’d like to mix things up and have someone interview you?
Example: Pause on the Play, Episode 185. Autonomy, Personal Ownership, and Consent: A Conversation with Shannon Collins
2. EDUCATIONAL INTERVIEWS
Curious about having me share my expertise with your audience? I’m happy provide educational input via interviews, whether written or verbal. Topics can range from disability justice, gender identity, advocating for queer youth, the wedding industrial complex, life as a late-diagnosed Autistic adult, and more.
Example: The Knot’s The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Disability-Friendly Wedding
3. WORKSHOPS + PRESENTATIONS
Whether it’s a live presentation, workshop, or a community conversation, I’m always looking to join folks in dialogue around topics of interest.
Example: A virtual Q&A with Altared on the topic of inclusivity norms within the wedding industry.
4. AWARDS COMMITTEE
I have years of experience in reviewing and ranking award applications for a powerful program—prioritizing marginalized members of the community who aim to serve these populations.
Example: I’m keeping this anonymous, since I am still a committee member and don’t want to skew the results in any way.
Past Speaking Engagements
Dropping the Veil: Featured speaker in a community conversation on visibility and vulnerability. Part of a 3-day virtual event in the Pause on the Play community.
Sharing about Kids Online: Do You Have Their Consent? A live workshop alongside Stacie Lampkin in the Pause on the Play community.
Rainbow Connections: Celebrating LGBTQ+ Kids and Allies in Your Community & Beyond. A free webinar alongside Jessica Olzak for Public Library Association. This presentation was also given locally to other library branches in neighboring counties.
Rainbow Connections: Free, virtual monthly meetups for LGBTQIA+ kids and allies in K-5. Co-hosted alongside Jessica Olzak since November 2021.
Coming up: A live presentation and Q&A on the topic of Autistic marriers and vendors. For the Equally Inclusive community on September 27, 2023.
Disrupting the wedding industrial complex
Whether you’re a social justice-minded wedding vendor or marginalized marrier, let’s discuss ways to advocate for safer, more diverse, inclusive, and accessible industry standards. We can rethink inclusivity norms while focusing on why brand values matter and making sure our network includes vendors who align with our own.
» Why mandatory pronoun sharing can be harmful
» Why labeling ourselves as a “safe space” can do more harm than good
» How saying things like “we welcome everyone” means we’re not including anyone
» How to best support folks who aren’t comfortable with the attention that comes with a celebration
» Give back policies: Why they matter and how to incorporate them into our workflow
Discovering my disabled identity in my mid-30s was revolutionary to my politics, personal values, and brand values. Finding ways to make my business and personal life more accessible is crucial to my well-being. Topics can include anything from alt-text and image descriptions to avoiding ableist language.
» Creating sensory-friendly experiences for clients
» Why designing accessible event spaces matters and how to be more inclusive
» Alternatives to exclusionary language, including gendered and ableist language.
» Unpacking health-related trauma (from child birth to a craniotomy as an Autistic, trans person)
Finding comfort in self-discovery
While visibility and vulnerability are privileges not everyone can afford, showing up and owning yourself publicly can bring joy for some, if it’s safe enough to do so. Topics can include self-discovery, sharing your journey, finding safer spaces to explore your fullest self, and cultivating community.
» Opening up on why visibility and vulnerability matters
» Coming out later in life, as a parent, during the pandemic
» Exploring your identities, battling internalized isms, and discovering ways to take up space without speaking over the most marginalized voices
» Through transparency in our evolution, we can find comfort in our communities, erase stereotypes, and increase representation
Supporting youth as they explore their gender expression, sexuality, and gender identity can be overwhelming at first. Let’s talk about ways to center youth and create environments that will affirm and uplift who they are, no matter their identities.
» Why affirming kids on LGBTQIA+ issues like gender expression and identity matters
» How children have a valid perspective on their own identity and sense of self.
» Ways to support queer kids and allies
» Media and resources to share with LGBTQIA+ youth and families
» Advocating to remove gendered language and stereotypes, whether at school or home
» Pronouns 101
» Helping kids feel seen and loved
Want to talk about something else?
There’s so much more to talk about! If you have an idea for an interview or speaking topic, please reach out so we can chat!
Le Scoop: Exploring and Affirming Gender Journeys
Wanting to jump into conversations around gender identity and expression, but overwhelmed with where to start? Shannon Collins, non-binary parent and creative, shares ways to support children of all ages around topics like gender expansiveness.Read more
The Knot: The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Disability-Friendly Wedding
Wondering how to plan a wedding that’s more accessible? The Knot connected with top wedding professionals to understand the steps to-be-weds can take to create a special day where all feel welcome and able to participate in the festivities.Read more
'Letting it shine’: An Abington library is creating space for kids to talk about gender
The Abington Township Public Library’s new program, Rainbow Connections, offers a safe and fun place for LGBTQ+ kids in grades K-5.Read more
WHYY Spotlights Youthphoria
WHYY spotlighted Youthphoria in an airing of Feel Good Fridays by Elizabeth Estrada. The radio story, which aired locally on WHYY and NPR was complemented by an article spotlighting past participant, Riley Matties and the joy they felt after her session.
Best of Philly 2022: Best Photographer
In Philadelphia Magazine’s Best of Philly 2022, Youthphoria was awarded in the helpers & fixers category in the city—winning Best Mission-Driven Photographer and featured alongside community staples like Mama-Tee Fridge and PHL Pride Collective.
Making Their Weddings an All-Gender Affair
Some couples are forgoing certain traditions — like groomsmen and bridesmaids — in favor of more inclusivity. As one person planning a wedding said: “That’s just being a good host.”Read more
Meet Youthphoria: Family Focus Media’s 2023 Community Builder of the Year Award Winner
Youthphoria, Philadelphia Family’s Community Builder of the Year Award Winner, is a free photo service for trans, nonbinary, and gender-expansive youth in the greater Philadelphia area founded by photographer Shannon Collins.Read more
42 LGBTQIA+-Owned Businesses You Can Consider for Your Wedding
This article includes are some of The Knot’s favorite big and small businesses owned or dedicated to people in the LGBTQIA+ community. If you’re hoping to shop more thoughtfully during your planning process, we’ve rounded up plenty of brands you’ll love. From wedding officiants to attire for your big day, here are people and companies you can invest in while wedding planning and afterward.Read more
Photographers push for equality in the wedding industry
An article from Philadelphia Gay News, spotlighting some Philadelphia-based wedding photographers who have devoted their careers to fighting the heteronormative stereotypes that pervade weddings and providing inclusive, authentic photos for queer couples in the area.Read more
Sensory-Friendly Wedding Planning Tips for Neurodivergent Couples and Guests
Planning a wedding with neurodiversity in mind is one step to-be-weds can take in creating a more accessible and inclusive wedding reception. Here are some sensory-friendly tips, backed by wedding expert advice, to keep in mind amid the wedding journey.Read more
Local Library Offers LGBTQ+ Kids a Safe Space to Make Connections
The Abington Township Public Library’s Rainbow Connections program bills itself as a child-centered safe space for LGBTQ+ kids and families to make friends and talk about topics like gender and pronouns. The program launched virtually in November during Transgender Awareness Week for children in grades K-5. Now, kids across the country are joining the monthly Zoom meetings.Read more
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