Three conferences of interest to GLBT Christians and straight allies are coming up this autumn. My heteronormative family responsibilities are likely to keep me from attending any of them. So I’m counting on you, dear readers, to send me your reports from the field. Write up your impressions and I’ll consider them for publication on this blog, or send me a link to your own blog post about any of these events.
Why Homosexuality? Religion, Globalization, and the Anglican Schism
Yale Divinity School, New Haven, CT
October 17, 2009
This interdisciplinary conference is sponsored by the LGBT Studies Department at Yale. “Rather than restaging the arguments for and against the ordination of openly gay clergy, this day-long conference analyzes the threatened schism in the Anglican Communion in order to examine wide-ranging and interrelated issues of religion, secularism, globalization, nationalism, and modernity. How and why, we ask, has homosexuality come to serve as a flash point for so many local and global conflicts?”
The Ivy-League roster of panelists includes Harvard’s Kwame Anthony Appiah and Mark Jordan. Registration is a dirt-cheap $10, which includes lunch and conference materials. I so, so want to be there…please, someone go and videotape this for me!
Translating Identity Conference
University of Vermont, Burlington, VT
October 24, 2009
“The Translating Identity Conference is a free conference focusing on transgender communities and gender identities. Open to the public, this event hopes to reach out to the University of Vermont, the Burlington community, and the nation as a whole to further educate us all about gender. With multiple sessions and workshops to choose from at any time, some will be directed specifically towards trans-identified people, while others will be for families, friends, and lovers of trans persons. Some will be for those already well versed in this subject area and some will be for those who are fairly unfamiliar with the transgender community and the topic of gender identity. This conference is a safe space for everyone to come, learn, and enjoy themselves!”
Registration is free, but donations are gladly accepted. The 2009 speakers’ list is not yet available online. Last year’s participants included Kate Bornstein and Gunner Scott. In this informal 10-minute video, the young transpeople who are organizing the conference introduce themselves and talk about the upcoming events.
Soulforce Anti-Heterosexism Conference
West Palm Beach, FL
November 20-22, 2009
Co-sponsored by Soulforce, Truth Wins Out, the National Black Justice Coalition, Beyond Ex-Gay, Box Turtle Bulletin, and Equality Florida. The purpose of this conference is “Building Community to End the Harm Caused By Heterosexism & Reparative Therapy”.
“The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference is open to everyone who cares about the welfare of LGBTQ people and wants to help stop the harm caused by heterosexism, reparative therapy, ex-gay ministries and other sexual orientation change efforts. Conference attendees come from all walks of life and many professional backgrounds, including LGBTQ people, clergy, educators, mental health professionals, and allies. By attending this conference you will learn to:
* challenge heterosexist attitudes that exist on personal, interpersonal, institutional and cultural levels.
* speak out publicly against the dangers of reparative therapy, ex-gay ministries, and other “conversion” efforts.
* build community to advocate for LGBTQ people and support them in leading successful, happy, and productive lives.
“The 2009 Anti-Heterosexism Conference also serves as a counter to the misinformation and harm perpetuated by the national antigay group NARTH (National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality) which will be holding its annual conference in West Palm Beach on the same weekend.”
Conference registration is $145, going up to $195 after Oct. 5. Visit Soulforce’s website to make a donation to support this event.
Read the American Psychological Association’s recent report opposing “ex-gay” conversion therapy here.