There’s almost no word I can think of that can cover how excited I am for this event… maybe Amazi-Spectacu-Some-Ness-Of-Greatness! This is going to be the first conference I’ll be attending that I feel actually has something worth saying to me, and by all means this is my opinion and experiences at other conferences but the ones that I have participated in that focused on Black/African-American communities/cultures mostly perpetuated post-colonial culture and on occasion assimilation to euro-centric society. They’ve never properly addressed the issues that our community faces within the LGBTQ community, often perpetuating gender stereotypes with some overtones of Christian dogma. Though like I said, this was my experience and I wouldn’t want to ruin the opportunity to visit a conference that actually dealt with our community/culture in a much more constructive and “out-of-the-box” manner.
I wish to invite everyone who has the ability to attend (and 10-20$ for registration) to do it, it’s going to be an amazing and historical event that may create more visibility for the black queer community–I’ll be honest, I’m really tired of being one of the few black people at a Q.P.O.C. meeting lol. I would feel it would be an enriching experience to see scholars of all sorts address the problems we have not only on campuses but in the real world. On a side not, it would be amazing to have the support of fellow community members who would love to run by and say hi to a presenter/blog-writer of Qulture… Me :D. So if you can, totally go! If not, then I’ll be informing everyone how amazing it was and what it may possibly inspire for the years to come.
The University of California, Riverside will be breaking ground by introducing the conference #BlaqOut for members who:
1. Self-Identify as Black or African-American or are of African decent.
2. Self-Identify as a member within the LGBTIQA(etc.) spectrum.
The conference will be held for two days!
This part of the conference is open to everyone who would like to attend, allowing late people to register for the event and to network and mingle amongst like-minded peers and allies and afterwards will follow with an opening event and a viewing of the film Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin (If you don’t know who he is, please follow the links, he’s an amazing advocate). Once the film has been shown, there will be closing speakers for the event and will then end for the preparations of the next days event.
On the second day, the event will become exclusive for those registered to the event and this day is where the important stuff is going to happen. This day is going to cover the workshops, presentations, panels, and all the other interesting interesting topics that concerns members/allies of the black queer community. The topics for the workshops range widely in difference:
- Gender Expression
- Deconstruction of Post-Colonial Culture
- The effects of HIV/AIDS in the gay community
- Removing forced Normativity in our community
- Creating more space spaces for queer identified students on campus
There are so many cool and epic topics to be covered all within 7 hours, which may seem like a lot, but a lot of these issues aren’t often discussed in such a setting so I hope/hypothesize that the event is going to go extremely well. Once the workshops are over, there will be opportunities for members to network with their fellow community members and then leave with fuzzy feelings inside of being able to participate in such an amazing event