Edgy conference

Samuel Garza Bernstein
Samuel Garza Bernstein
Foster Youth Advocate
Samuel Garza Bernstein
Samuel Garza Bernstein’s 30-year writing career has included working in film, television drama, children’s television, musical and non-musical theatre, and fiction and non-fiction books. He has also volunteered with LBGTQIA+ youth for most of his adult life. He is a Court Appointed Special Advocate for foster children where he has worked with trans teenagers for the last 5 years. He spent 12 years as a rap group facilitator for kids aged 13-21 through the Los Angeles LGBT Center and was a hotline volunteer for 5 years at APLA. Born to a Mexican mother and a Jewish father, he and his family traveled all over the world, occasionally on the lam, and lived in Cairo, Honolulu, Austin, Phoenix, Albuquerque, New York, Los Angeles, and Ft. Collins, Colorado, among other places. He and husband Ronald Shore have been together for 28 years. They are currently the hostages of three incorrigible dachshunds in Los Angeles and are in the process of establishing dual citizenship in Portugal.


What’s my role? Creating Advocacy with Foster Youth
Advocacy for and with any young person is more effective when it is informed and led by the youth it is meant to serve and considers all dimensions of their identity. We must see our youth through their own eyes and understand how they define themselves if we hope to be genuinely effective. Being LGBTQIA+ is just part of a person’s entire identity. This presentation explores intersectionalities in the lives of LGBTQIA+ foster youth, and how we can inform our advocacy by recognizing that, but also celebrate the different aspects of their identity. It takes tools, it takes practice, it takes patience. Discover methods to: be a supportive adult, foster a relationship of trust, and promote youth being in the driver's seat.