NETROOTS NATION: LGBT Pre-Conference Connect

by Hale Thompson, Guest Blogger for the Network at NETROOTS NATION 2011

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…

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