Good afternoon from Minneapolis and the Netroots LGBT Pre-Conference. This morning I had the privilege to hear from a room full of caffeinated LGBT activists, jounalists, and community leaders. Some of the most salient issues our various LGBT communities are facing were offered up, including health-related commentary:
- Queer, undocumented immigrants are being forced into silence due to anti-immigrant legislation and increased police and INS cooperation. Yes, this is a health issue.
- In Long Beach, queer youth need more education and awareness around HIV.
- ADAP funding for HIV is under assault across the country.
- In New York, funding for queer and homeless youth has been cut.
- At the federal level, we need to be putting immediate pressure on Health & Human Services to include LGBT populations in surveillance and data collection instruments.
- Charlotte, NC–the city in a right-to-work state that will be hosting the Democratic National Convention next year–has NOT voted on an LGBT measure since 1992 when they voted down employment non-discrimination legislation. Word is that their GOP-dominated state legislature is gearing up to pass a marriage-is-between-a-man-and-woman amendment.
In the next session, a 45-minute rapid-fire session on problem-solving the LGBT movement, we reviewed a few of the key hurdles we have to resolve:
1) How to engage more effectively across racial and ethnic communities, generations, and faith and non-faith lines.
2) Closing gaps in the movement.
3) Keeping the LGBT blogosphere strong and well-funded.
Not to worry. We have the rest of the day to forge ahead, build coalitions, and even mingle with the Pre-Conference Labor folks! In solidarity…