Princeton Transgender Youth Conference; Marlboro opens Farmers’ Market

Source: Central Jersey.com

Princeton: For the fifth year, the HiTOPS Trans Youth Forum has successfully provided services that matter to transgender and nonbinary youths in Princeton.

HiTOPS is a organization that fosters healthy and strong young people, families and communities by providing youths of all identities with non-judgmental, affirming, factually accurate, sex-positive sexual health education and support.

“This is the only conference in New Jersey that is created entirely by and for transgender and nonbinary youth, which is huge for a number of reasons,” said Alex Aikens, HiTOPS program manager. “To be able to have a youth advisory board, which consist of nine members who identify with the transgender community, has been important in identifying what matters to them.

“They were the ones who picked the theme ‘Intersectional Voices’ and selected the more than 20 workshops for people who attended,” Aikens explained. “They also help put together the salon, where the attendees could come and have free haircuts, free manicures and get an entirely new gender affirming wardrobe completely for free.

“We started with the idea of having a clothing exchange last year. Youths who maybe wanted feminine clothing could get it in taller or larger sizes or vice versa with masculine clothing,” Aikens said. “It was such a huge hit that the members of the youth advisory board said they wanted to make it bigger.”

The workshops included topics such as transgender depiction in the media, life after transitioning, mental health, relationships and being a supportive family member. “Parents come in and say they have a child who they love so much who is telling them they are transgender. They don’t know what that means and what is next. The forum helps them by providing workshops, resources and terminology,” Aikens said. “It helps set them up for success as parents moving forward.”

The keynote speaker was Jamey Jesperson, a nonbinary, a trans-femme educator and activist from the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Educational Network, a national organization that works to create affirming school communities.

For more information about HiTOPS, visit HiTOPS.org.


Marlboro: The Marlboro Farmers Market is open for its first season of business.

The market, on Route 520 just west of Route 79, opened this week, and will be open every Sunday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. until Oct. 27, rain or shine. There is ample parking on site behind the vendor area. Handicapped parking is available at street level, according to a press release from the township.

Market vendors include Navtan Farms, LOCAL 130 Seafood, Cherry Grove Farm, Dogwood Farms, Picklelicious, Annie & Em’s Bake Shop, From the Garden Honey, Baker’s Bounty, Little Box Farms, Beyond Organic Growers and The Baklava Lady. Some will be on an alternating schedule, and additional vendors are expected to join, according to a press release.

Farmers who are interested in being considered as a vendor may send an email to CoGrO_monmouth @ icloud. com or call 732-982-7842.

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