Hector Martinez Blogging Scholarship Winner Reporting from Creating Change January, 2012 Baltimore, MD
Do You Have a Plan for 2012?
My first time at the National Conference on LGBT Equality and the theme is Change in 2012. This leads me to wonder, how will change happen in 2012? One speaker had volunteers stand up and simulate a conversation with their boss with the intention of creating change in thinking about the LGBT movement and racial justice. One young woman stood up and said we need to implement HR policies that are LGBT inclusive. Another woman was more aggresive and said, we need to stop funding programs that are not LGBT inclusive.
It was exciting to see the passion and interchange of ideas. This morning I randomly asked people that I did not know the same question. One young man who I spoke to, a lobbyist at a grassroots non-profit in Washington DC, was energetic and passionate in his response. His primary role is to lobby Congress to make sure that the Fair Housing Act is LGBT inclusive. He went on to say that currently in politics there is not a lot of space for LGBT or racial justice conversations. His biggest challenge is to engage LGBT people of color into this conversation. However, listening in at the “Quieting Internalized Oppressions and self care as People of Color” workshop led him to think about how he will approach these topics to a Congressial Aid.
There is an atmosphere of hope for the future at this conference. Everyone is eager to see the system change for the better. It seems to me that change happens one conversation at a time. Hope and courage can be as simple as engaging conversations. I can almost see the day when being LGBT is non-consequential.Hector Martinez