Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Upcoming 2015 Aqui Estamos RGV POC Queer Conference

The state of Texas is bigger than France in size, and that can make it difficult to organize statewide or when we have BTLGQ lobby days in Austin.   The sheer size of the state for example makes it hard for someone in the Panhandle, West Texas, Northeast Texas, East Texas or the El Paso area to come to lobby, even if they fly to Austin, without planning on taking at least two days minimum for travel the day of and the day after the event. 

Because our Texas TBLGQ communities are also clustered in the state's larger cites like Houston, Dallas, Austin and San Antonio, the statewide conferences tend to be held in those cities as well, with the same applicable travel issues.

The Rio Grande Valley in South Texas is predominately Latino and for the most part liberal progressive, but it's still about a four hour one way drive from the Valley's major cities of Harlingen, Brownsville, McAllen and Laredo to our state capitol of Austin.  |But the Valley, just like everywhere else in the Lone Star State, has TBLGQ Latinos living there as well.

And with Latinos being the fastest growing ethnic group in Texas, they will be part of an increasingly powerful voting bloc.  The Latino population in Texas is estimated to eclipse white Texans and become the largest ethnic group in the state next year and nationally by 2040.

Aquí Estamos RGVThanks to Lou Weaver, I was alerted to an upcoming conference, the Aqui Estamos RGV Conference that will be taking place at the STC Cooper Center in McAllen from August 6-7.

It's the first ever LGBTQ centered conference to take place in the Rio Grande Valley, and it seeks to bring together queer-identifying people of color and allies to identify the institutional, social, and cultural currents and themes that continue to oppress queer and gender nonconforming identities in our borderland.

The goal of Aquí Estamos RGV is to strive to challenge those currents and themes by creating a visible and unified movement where LGBTQ people can stand in solidarity for justice.

As the first LGBTQ centered conference in the Rio Grande Valley, Aquí Estamos RGV 2015 will focus on visibility, strategizing, and community and is also open to allies . If you need further details about this first ever event , visit aquiestamosrgv.org.    The conference also has its own Twitter hashtag, #aquiestamos15

If you wish to attend, the conference is FREE, but you'll need to RSVP for it by July 20.

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