From the Commission for Social Justice Educators Blog
Aug 6, 2013, 8:00 AM
I have spent my entire life in the Deep South living, working, and advocating as a Queer identified person. It has always been a puzzle to me that some people seem to have such terrible impressions of the South and have used it as the bogeyman/yardstick to measure how much “better” life is in other parts of the country. I think as a young person I truly believed the media that Queers in the South were destined to suffer in silence until such a time as they could work up the funds or the nerve to pick up and move to places that promised more acceptance.
In January, I attended the Creating Change Conference in Atlanta. I was excited to attend this conference in the South as it is billed as the largest gathering of LGBTQA practitioners in the US. The theoretical purpose of the conference is to be a place where people working in non-profits, higher education, community organizing, and Queer professional positions, can come together and share ideas to help connect and grow our diverse community. The first year I attended this conference, I left feeling very good about my work in the South and got a lot of very helpful information to take back to my campus. I have been working in the silo of higher education for 8 years and the chance to talk shop with other Queers is particularly lacking. However, the tenor of the conference this year seemed much more fraught with problems, as if my rose colored glasses had lost their tint. FULL ARTICLE