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Creating Change: Accessibility and Diversity

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February 3, 2014

This weekend I attended Creating Change: The National Conference of LGBT Rights.  Basically, the conference covers a wide intersection of issues impacting the LGBTQ community, including homelessness, HIV/AIDS, marriage equality, immigration, and a whole host of other issues.

One of the big themes appeared to be queering reproductive justice. This issue addresses a persistent dismissal of the LBGTQ community’s involvement in abortion rights and birth control access and other reproductive health-related issues based on the idea that LGBTQ-identified folks do not need access to these services. Several of the panels were based on how to address this concern and continue to organize for reproductive justice inclusively for folks of all identities.

The space of Creating Change, it is important to note, was highly accommodating. One of the best parts included gender neutral bathrooms that were highly accessible. Each bathroom had a large sign out front explaining the bathrooms, the ethics and how to behave. Throughout the entire weekend, I used the bathrooms several times, and witness no harassment around the gender neutral bathrooms. I could not help but be proud of how 4,000 people were able of being so respectful of a space, yet others can hardly fathom that sort of space on their campus or in their community.

One of the other great spaces of the weekend was the Trans* Pool Party. This space was set up for trans* people to safely swim without fear of harassment. This will be further discussed in a blog later in the week – but let me mention that it was an incredibly moving experience.

Creating Change is clearly a leader when it comes to accessibility and diversity at a conference. It was an amazing conference, and I would highly recommend attending.

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