About Dr. Minor Seminars

Dr. Minor offers lectures and workshops available to nonprofit organizations, religious and educational institutions, and businesses at reasonable cost and a sliding scale on the following topics:

For more information about these or similar topics, or to schedule a seminar, workshop, book talk, or lecture, contact us.


Understanding Homophobia

No matter what stage of activism we have reached and no matter what our sexual orientation, homophobia is a pervasive condition to be faced again and again. This workshop begins with the basic, often unexplored definition of homophobia as "the fear of getting close to our own sex" and shows how that culturally conditioned fear plays itself out on all sexual orientations. Using a systems model, it will survey the process of growth from birth through the teenage years, suggest new understandings of the deep-rootedness and dynamics of homophobia in our culture, describe how that effects all people and their relationships, and help us understand why this continues to be a difficult issue. It is recommended for both beginners and advanced workers in the fight to end oppression of LGBT people. Its objectives are to move forward the thinking and processing of people who have already thought about these issues, to add new dimensions to their analyses of difficulties and interconnected issues, and to provide some practical ways of rethinking the difficulties encountered.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "Scared Straight: Growing Up in the USA"

Past responses from participants:
"I thought I came to learn about someone else and left knowing much more about myself."

"Wonderful speaker. Knew his subject and presented it clearly and logically."

"One of the best presenters I've ever heard."

"Very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, even entertaining. He expanded on information I already had and went to the next level of awareness."

"Really gave me a specific, detailed understanding of how powerfully gender roles enforce homophobia."

"Thank you for one of the best presentations we have hosted....Your thoughtful analysis of homophobia and how it affects us all, plus your compassion combined for a powerful learning experience. Our audience was in awe."

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 How to Be an Activist Without Being a Victim: Personal Strategies for Activist Burnout,  Blowout, and Balkanization: Why We End Up Frustrated  and Divided and What We Can Do About it?

Columnist Molly Ivins says to activists, "Above all have fun." But being an activist for any cause is at times tedious, often exhausting, and even personally destructive. Activists burn out, are blown out by others, often feel unthanked, and even are criticized by the people they are helping.

This is true within LGBT communities as we argue, compete and struggle out of our internalized oppression, the often unexamined cultural conditioning about how queer people are supposed to be as queer people, and our personal pasts actually unrelated to being queer. Though we have good intentions, these do not always get us through.

The objectives of this workshop are to analyze the causes of burnout and the negative responses of others, to strategize about prevention of burnout and bitterness, to look personally at our basis for activism and how it develops as we become more active, and to learn new ways to conceive of the things that "hook us" when others react. We will look at what we can almost inevitably expect as we attempt to lead and/or advocate for a group of people who have been victimized, and at how we can respond, move beyond negative elements and heal them, and create support systems to encourage our leadership.

We will look at our own "leadership issues" and how to break through to a more human, whole-being activism. We will identify what personally hangs us up and triggers us when others react and what keeps us from a relaxed, alert, and effective response to others. This means we will be led to face our personal agendas and see where change is necessary to nurture ourselves as well as the movements we lead.

We will look at leadership as a chance to experience a variety of issues that help the personal growth of leaders as well as move the movement beyond a "victim role."  

Finally, we will develop our own personal approach to defining leadership, leading, and our place in it, and strategize about ways to maintain our own emotional health.

The goals of the workshop are: (1) to reinvigorate our movements through attention to ourselves as leaders; (2) to put the positive and hopeful back into our activism, (3) to be a leader who supports other leaders, (4) to move beyond activism as an addiction (something that keeps us from ourselves and our healing and like all addictions is destructive) to activism as a personal healing process; and (5) to learn how to be part of a healing approach with all those involved in queer activism.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "Being an Activist but not a Victim"

Responses from past participants:
"It is wonderful to have practical information about healing. Such a contrast to the many 'woe is me' workshops I've attended. Bob presented his material clearly and with humor and personal stories."

"For the first time in two years, I feel like I have a basis to be able to start anew and fresh."

"The facilitator was excellent - warm and enthusiastic. Interesting info, good handouts, time for everyone to speak."

"This needs to be an institution or an all day program!"

"Excellent speaker and excellent delivery and excellent stuff to learn. This is an excellent workshop."

"I found this workshop to be the most direct and to the point of all the workshops I've been to. I'm so sorry that there weren't more people here."

"This changed how I view my job and interact with others. It applied so much to my life and made so much sense."

"I feel like I just went through therapy. I really appreciated this."

"The most valuable session I have attended this year. Lots of practical info. Minor is very down to earth and easy to respect."

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 Personal Growth of Non-heterosexual People Beyond "Coming Out"

Much has been said about the process of people who do not identify as heterosexual when they "come out." Once one has come out to oneself and then to others, both the internal and external processes continue. Lesbians, gay men and bisexual and transgender people have only thus begun. Society has taught them numerous messages about what it is to deviate from the societally defined "straight" norm. These messages install a "victim role" in LGBT people which hinders their own growth. In addition LGBT people have also been taught homophobia, which is internalized and continues to frustrate same-sex relationships.

Using the definition of homophobia as "fear of getting close to one's own gender," and identifying key elements of the classic "victim role" in the dynamics of any oppression, these workshops and talks help explain why LGBT people treat each other and themselves the way they do, continue to idealize a dysfunctional "straight" model for their life, prefer to demean and downplay (rather than celebrate) their sexuality, and see themselves as powerless. The workshop develops alternative ways of thinking, alternative strategies for dealing with the homophobia and heterosexism of others, and alternative ways to frame one's own life. It explores both the difficulties and joys, the worries and the gifts of being non-heterosexual. It's goal is empowerment.

Examples of available formats:
Two-day workshop with overnight component
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "I'm Out; Now What" or "Beyond Coming Out: the Dynamics of Queer Life" or "Why We Do What We Do to Each Other"

Responses from past participants: 
"Listening to your ideas, I seriously felt like I had been shot in the head. You managed to short-circuit some pathways in my brain and suddenly forge new ones. It is an odd feeling that very few people can produce in me (Robert Anton Wilson is the author that does it the most), but which I greatly respect. I am still mulling over the ideas you presented."

"I want to thank you again for the wonderful workshop on Saturday. Several people from the workshop have spoken to me at school this week and expressed how much they felt they got value from the day. Specifically, people have said they appreciated your directness, your skill at facilitating the energy of the group, and your comments about how important it is to teach people how to treat us."

"You gave us a mirror and challenged us to do better and to work together better. We can all do better, and thank you for helping me to see some specific ways to do that. I'm about to do some 'cleaning up' as you put it, and to initiate some important personal dialogues with leaders so that we can build bridges together. Again, your presentation was exactly what I needed to hear, and I heard many people talking about how important what you said was to them as well."

"Thank you for your kindness and compassion, and for your courage to help us see ourselves."

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 Dealing with Religion When You've Tried Everything and Nothing Seems To Work: Strategies that Move Us Forward

Religious arguments based on the Bible, tradition, religious authorities, or other icons often interfere with the liberation of transgender and bisexual people, and lesbians and gay men. They are cited to justify discrimination and abuse. Yet arguing about religion is often futile, producing more heat than light, more anger and frustration. Few walk away from such discussions feeling good about them. This workshop's goal is to put religious arguments into perspective, not to argue about "what the Bible says," but to explore strategies to defuse and redirect such arguments into the issues that lie beneath the religious arguments where the healing can begin. By recognizing our own internal dynamics around past religious abuse and the dynamics that are behind and within religious arguments, the workshop emphasizes simple strategies to change those dynamics. Its objectives are to give both religious and non-religious people confidence, but not arrogance or reactive hostility, when confronted with religious arguments without arguing about religion, to provide a perspective on our personal feelings about religious arguments, and to suggest new strategies not found elsewhere for responding to religious arguments used against LGBT people. These strategies do not end in argument while still clearly stating our own position of liberation.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "Adding Religion into the Mix" or "Dealing with the Religious When You've Tried Everything Else and Don't Know What to Do" or "Confronting the Frustration of Dealing with Religious Arguments"

Past responses from participants:
"I am the Muslim mother of a transsexual child who attended your workshop. I'd like to commend you for your definitive viewpoints. Especially when you stated how one should not enter discussions on religion, I could so deeply relate to that."

"By far one of he best sessions I've been to in all the BGC's I've been to."

"Robert Minor moved me to rethink how I deal with religion and arguments on the Bible. A most effective and informative workshop."

"Minor's contributions were great -- how not to argue with people about what the Bible says."

"It exceeded my expectations. My only complaint is we needed more time."

"I love Minor's deep comprehension and clear analysis of complex historical issues. I bet he could work out the Iraq issue."

"Minor presented a clearly stated and useful perspective on religion and homosexuality."

"Informative, empowering and substantial. I especially liked Dr. Minor's strategies."

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Understanding Gender: Beyond the "Opposite Sexes"

One of the standard pieces of “wisdom” in our society is that there are opposite sexes who are unlike, opposed, and inscrutable to each other as if they are from two different planets. Children are born fully human with all human characteristics, but within a few years boys and girls have been conditioned to exhibit certain characteristics of their gender and reject those of the “other” gender. This workshop traces the process of making boys and men, girls and women, and confronts the rewards for going along and the penalties for deviating from the roles. It’s goals are to help us understand other human beings no matter what sex or gender they are, and to understand how this conditioning limits us personally, our relationships, and our marriages and partnering experiences.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "The Opposite Sexes: Growing Up in the USA"

Past responses from participants:
"As he spoke about the history of the roles of men and women and the impact society has made upon these roles, it truly made me think of how society has impacted myself and the effect it has in my own personal relationships."

"I felt empowered after hearing Dr. Minor's lecture. I want to get his lecture on video to give to my siblings with children."

"I find your work so interesting, thoughtful, and real. And your presentation of your work is so dynamic and engaging."

"Dr. Minor brought to my attention a real understanding of gender roles. Not just that, but an improved insight on how men and women view each other."

I felt as though I better understand myself and can realize why I'm this way and so on. This acknowledgement of gender conditioning made me want to spread the word."

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Making LGBT Relationships Better

The messages we receive from our culture about relationships profoundly affect LGBT people and how they relate in their most intimate relationships. These messages have nothing to do with sexual orientation, though the dominant culture teaches us that somehow they have to do with being non-heterosexual. We identify six sets of messages which hurt LGBT relationships in order to improve and affirm what it means to be a whole LGBT person who is prepared to enter into a healthy committed relationships with another.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
1 1/2 - 2 hour workshop
One hour lecture: "How to Make LGBT Relationships Better"

Past responses from participants:
"I took notes because I knew my brain was going to be full. And it was."

"Insightful. So much new information, insights. It's going to take me a long time to work through what you've given me. And it's so right on."

"God, I can't believe how true this all is for both straight and glbt people. I'm floored."

"I'd been to other sessions you led at this conference, so I couldn't miss what you had to say about relationships. Glad I didn't -- miss it , I mean."

"You identified problems but you also gave me hope and practical steps to make my relationship better."

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Working with Men's Issues

Our culture seems to have given up on men. They are considered naturally violent, angry, testosterone-driven, sexually out-of-control, and egocentric. But are they? Our culture raises boys to be men in ways that install in them a sense that their worth is in killing themselves for a cause, competitive activities which defeat other men, sexual activities, and the conquering (even demeaning) of women. Most men do not meet the standard of masculinity this sets before them. To cover this up they react in culturally conditioned ways which do not aid their personal growth. We examine how our cultural system raises boys to be men through fear of not being manly enough, what this does to relationships with other men and women, how this effects the institutions of our society, and why this is a difficult issue to resolve. We also begin to unravel the issues, face the process of change that is necessary, and strategize ways that people who work with men can use to make progress in healing. We also look at our own issues around men. The workshop emphasizes healing rather than the culture’s usual emphasis on merely coping with men’s problems and nature. Men are actually whole, complete, wonderful, nurturing human beings who are not what they have been portrayed to be and conditioned to be.

Examples of available formats:
All day workshop (7-8 hours with lunch break)
Weekend overnight workshop (4 hours and 8 hours)
Half-day workshop (4 hours)
One hour lecture: "Making Real Men: The Journey of Our Boys"

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