I've been doing my best to cover as many events as possible over Day 1 and Day 2 of the Creating Change Conference in Denver, but today it was impossible to get to everything, even for a speedy guy like me! With over 75 smaller breakout sessions on every imaginable topic, today was a day you had to sit and map out (or plan with friends to try and get as much information as possible, of course using our amazing transgender equality pen).
What a great problem to have!
What really made me happy today was talking to other attendees about what session they went to and how they decided to go where. While many did go to sessions that matched their passions/work/organizations, the majority of people said they chose sessions on things they wanted to learn about- other parts of our movement and community they wanted to get involved in or had never been exposed to.
It was amazing to see the hunger to reach across the internal divides we often have within the LGBTQ community.
I should also talk for minute about last night's events! The Opening Reception was a great chance to meet and talk with everyone attending. I ran into tons of Projectors- like Ricci Levy, Nadine Smith, Sue Hoffman, Kate Kendall, the fantastic Tobi Hill-Meyer, and lots of great readers. It was also good to chat with some of the organization folks that I really love, like Charles Robbins, Executive Director of the Trevor Project. It was also cool to see the different groups and orgs set up their booths and to have a chance to chat with folks from all over the country.
The Plenary session was great and featured Dolores Huerta, the co-founder of the United Farm Workers with Cesar Chavez (check out Bill's interview with her!). We will hopefully have video for everyone soon! And a special shout out to the Denver Mosaic Youth Choir, who performed and were incredible!
The night ended with a huge gather, meet, and chat in the lobby/lounge area. I had some of the most thought-provoking, interesting conversations of my life there! And to see the completely lack of any hierarchy, everyone was talking to everyone, was phenomenal.
Day 3, as I said in the intro, has been chocked full of sessions. Literally, if you can imagine the issue or topic, there is a breakout session for it.
I attended a morning session called "You Want Online Tools But Do You Have an Online Strategy" moderated by Justin Cole, Director of Digital & Online Media of GLAAD. It was a great look at making sure that we didn't just hop online without a plan in place first. It was a great and informative session (especially for online geeks like me).
I also sat in on an afternoon session called "Generational Creation: An Intergenerational Collaboration", which took a look at combining work between LGBTQ seniors and youth. It seems like a great idea and way to pass along life experience and histories from both perspectives.
One of the great highlights of the day was Rea Carey, the executive Director of the Task Force, and her "State of the Movement" plenary (which we will hopefully get a video of soon). She really laid out the past year in victories and defeats and called out the horrific behavior by some in our community in the aftermath of Prop 8. And not only did she give a great and moving speech, but she twittered while she did it! Talk about multi-tasking!
So now I'm off for more great meetings with other activists and community folk. If there was a topic that you want to know about or see if it was covered, drop me a comment and I'll do my best to track someone down that attended the session to get details!