Saturday was a good day at the conference! I was able to meet up with my friend, David Taffet of the Dallas Voice, and we were able to attend sessions together!
The first session we attended was called a Plenary discussion which is a discussion where everyone comes to the same discussion instead of seperate workshops. Saturday, this was a panel discussion about the problems LGBT Youth and their youth groups face. They had representatives from FIERCE from New York, Youth First Texas, and one from Boston. Their ideas were interesting about the state of affairs and I learned that things such as homelessness are a major problem in other cities. Here, we do not seem to have that much of a problem which I am grateful for.
We skipped the workshop after that as David had to interview two Iraqi gay men who have fled here and are seeking asylum. They are currently here on a refugee visa and are allowed to work in the states. They live in Houston in a very bad part of town which is extremely sad to me as they went from one dangerous situation to another. They are having a very hard time finding work as well. It is a terrible thing that people in other countries such as Iraq, Iran, Uganda and others cannot be themselves and have to hide and flee to not get punished by death.
The next workshop we went to next was called “Talkin’ bout my generation” and was to be an intergenerational discussion so you were paired up with someone of a different generation and were able to discuss some questions and such to share your story. I was paired up with an amazing Transwoman who shared her story which I will tell about in another blog post as it is longer and I want to be able to get all the details in I want.
Lastly, we went to an entertainment thing with some drag dancers from Youth First Texas, a poet/spoken word artist, and a comedian. Followed by a dance party for those of us under 24 years old.
My overall view of this conference is amazing. I already want to go again next year and I am super excited about the thought of going. It promotes so much awareness and love as well! You may ask, “How does it promote these things as a LGBT conference?” The answer is, not only LGBT people attend. There were plenty of “Straight Allies” and even then there were workshops on how to spread that we are just normal people through things such as music that everyone should be able to relate to. Often times LGBT people are seen as somehow different. That we are not “normal.” With some of these programs, it shows that LGBT people come from ALL walks of life. They can be accountants, IT people, newspaper reporters, radio DJs, news anchors on TV. Sometimes you might never know they were different! When some people find out that that person is LGBT, their entire view of that person changes. It is unfortunate but we need to promote change in this world and we need to work together to tell the world that LGBT people are just the same and are just human.