With all of the precautions New York City and State are taking along with the rest of the country, we hear the phrase “Social Distancing.”

We want to correct the phrase to “Physical Distancing,” as we believe that being social is more important now than ever.

As a community, we must continue to be available for each other, even while maintaining a safe distance. We encourage everyone to maintain contact through social media, phone, and video chat software. While we are home from work and school, it is important to maintain a routine. Wake up and do a workout. Have a healthy breakfast, and get dressed as you would on a regular day. You can give yourself a break and make it a casual Friday. You don’t have to break out the power suits and ties.

It is important to regularly check-in with yourself to make sure you are holding up alright. If you are struggling, reach out to a trusted friend to talk. It is also a good idea to check in on others. You don’t need an excuse to call someone to say, “hi.”

Postponement of the 2020 New York Coming Out Conference

Coming off of our inaugural New York Coming Out Conference, we have been very excited to be planning the 2nd New York Coming Out. We have made the difficult decision to postpone our 2020 conference. While we hope that October will see COVID-19 in its rear-view mirror, there have been a lot of questions about how long this will last. It is also unknown if the virus will return in the fall with the return of colder weather.

We very much look forward to building upon the momentum from our inaugural event that took place in October of 2019. Our first concern has always been and will always be the good health of everyone involved in the conference. That concern includes everyone who is planning to attend.

In the United States, we are at the very beginning stages of knowing how many Americans will be impacted by the novel Coronavirus, known as COVID-19. Many states, including New York, have mandated that there be no gatherings of 50 or more people for public or private events as part of the effort to stop the spread of the virus and “flatten the curve” so the hospitals are not overwhelmed.

If it happens that you or someone you know comes down with this virus, we wish you an easy and speedy recovery. Please remember that you will be in our prayers as well as those of everyone throughout the community.

NewYorkComingOut Conference 2021

The good news is that we have plenty of time to plan and fundraise for scholarships for our New York Coming Out Conference 2021. We will build on the success of our first conference. We have already met to discuss what we learned in our past conference and what we can do better. Our team is working hard to bring you the type of informative conference you desire. Look for an announcement regarding dates for 2021 later this year.

For Myself

This is a sad time as I believe that Transgender conferences provide support to so many people in our community who are not entirely out or not out at all. I was in the closet for much of my life up to two years ago. The conferences I had attended, such as First Event and Keystone, meant the world to me! 

That is why this is a heartbreaking decision. Many members of our community feel anxious, isolated, lonely, frustrated, and scared. Hopefully, a virus like the Coronavirus COVID-19 does not repeat itself for many years to come. In the meantime, please take care of yourself. There are so many nonprofit organizations and mental health specialists you can reach out to, including TransNewYork.

If you have any questions, you can email me at gherley@transNewYork.org.


Dr. Gennifer Herley and the entire staff at New York Coming Out