Attending the LGBT pre-conference at Netroots Nation introduced me to a lot of the movers and shakers of the LGBT rights movement. From immigration to marriage equality, a lot of topics were thrown around, discussed, and brainstormed.
During the breakout sessions, we discussed social media and how to incorporate blogging into social activism – even though, I attended the social media session – thankfully, you could over hear pertinent information from both sessions simultaneously.
The conference was divided into 4 sessions, the first session talked about problem solving the LGBT movement, where tables had to come up with 5 bullet points for the following questions:
- Identify 5 key gaps in our movement?
- How can we engage more effectively across race/ethnicity?
- How can we engage more effectively across generations?
- How can we engage more effectively across faith/non-faith lines?
- How can we ensure the LGBT blogosphere is strong and well-funded?
Of course, I loved the race/ethnicity question; I wish we could have discussed our opinions with the collective group instead of just with those sitting around you.
The second session broke off into two separate groups, one discussed utilizing bloggers with grassroot organizations; while the other group talked about social media and monetizing blogging for LGBT activists.
Besides the first session, I enjoyed the third panel “Immigration Reform Through a Queer Lens“ – which happened to discuss immigration and undocumented LGBT persons in the United States.
Lastly, we ended the conference talking about marriage equality. With New York marriage hanging on by a thread – it was on a lot of the attendee’s minds. Some were for the LGBT movement putting all their money into the marriage basket, while others felt that there were other things (i.e. bullying, education, HIV awareness) that would serve the community better.
What did I take away? Well, there are different fights and battles out there that may not impact me directly but affect my brothers and sisters in the LGBT equality movement. Being undocumented can be cold and lonely more so when you are LGBT, the stores that Dream panel shared with us about being undocumented had me feeling sad, yet thankful that they were strong and willing to talk to us about their stories – no matter how painful.
Also, I really enjoyed meeting (even briefly) those that I know via Twitter or Facebook. Meeting a lot of the writers/bloggers that I constantly keep track of in one place was mesmerizing and hashing out our goals and desires for the LGBT equality movement was inspiring to say the least.