Dense Leclair and I took off from our undisclosed location in NW Washington DC and hit the subway enroute to the first event of the 2011 OUT on the Hill schedule at the Congressional Visitors Center.
I was also interested in finding out who was here for OUT on the Hill. .
The event Denise and I were attending was a scheduled 5-7 PM panel discussion sponsored by the LGBT Congressional Staff Association with the theme of 'Brother Outsider: Linking the Racial Justice and LGBT Equality Movement.'
Denise and I got there in plenty of time although I had to go through security a few times because my low heel boots were setting off the metal detector. I wasn't alone because a few people had to do the same thing for various reasons.
Note to self: don't wear those tomorrow.
I was also interested in finding out who was here for OUT on the Hill and immediately ran into Diego Sanchez and Kylar Broadus in addition to having a few of my FB friends and TransGriot readers introduce themselves to me before the panel got started.
The panel's moderator was Robert Traynham of Comcast and the panelists for this discussion not only included Kylar, but ESPN's LZ Granderson, NAACP Washington DC bureau director Hilary Shelton, NBJC ED/CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks, Carolyn Brown of Black Enterprise magazine, Courtney Snowden of the Raben Group and George Walker of the Victory Fund. .
In addition to some scripted questions, they took some thoughtful questions from the audience. And yes, I wrote a question that got read to the panel and answered by Hilary Shelton and others.
The question I asked? In light of the fact that the recent NAACP LGBT town hall had no bi or trans representation, when will African Americans inside and outside the LGBT community have that family discussion about the transgender community and our issues?
After Shelton asked for a clarification, I along with Diego pointed out that the LA convention panel had no bi and trans representation and was heavy on the GL portion of it. That question triggered a 15 minute discussion on trans issues which up until that point was heavily GL centric.
Since it didn't get started until 5:30, the panel concluded at 7:30 PM. Shook hands with Hilary Shelton and had a brief discussion with him, hugged Sharon Lettman-Hicks and told her how glad I was to be here for OUT on the Hill,. had a thoughtful conversation with LZ Granderson and thanked him for the piece he wrote for CNN panning the 'Gay Is the The New Black' slogan, and talked to two students from Howard about a panel discussion on trans issues they are doing on campus soon.
Also got to meet Stacey Long from the Task Force and Kim McLeod from GLAAD and other OUT on the Hill attendees.before I rejoined Kylar, Denise and Diego to discuss trans community and other 'bidness'.
Hey, it needed to be asked. If you say an event is supposed to be TBLG, some 'B' and 'T' discussion and inclusion needs to happen, too.
And on that note, have a long day ahead of me tomorrow. Gotta be up early tomorrow to register and be bright eyed and bushy tailed for the Out On the Hill Opening Session.
See y'all tomorrow.