The first full day of OUT on the Hill activity
found me battling DC traffic in order to get to HRC headquarters for the opening plenary session scheduled to kick off at 9 AM
I got there about 9:15, but because there were so many people checking in to pick up their registration packets, the start got delayed a bit.
But we did get the OUT on the Hill party started at 10 AM as NBJC ED and CEO Sharon Lettman-Hicks and Venton Jones stepped to the podium began a fast paced opening plenary that focused on the health and wellness issues facing our Black TBLGQ/SGL ranks that covered the issues and the NBJC responses to them that got us back on schedule for our first workshop sessions of the day that commenced at 10:45 AM.
Since I`d seen Brandon`s excellent effemiphobia presentation, I checked out the one entitled Somewhere Over The Rainbow: Can We Talk About Bullying?
Noelle Adams and Margaret Conley launched into their presentation that talked about the causes, led us through an exercise demonstrating bullying, strategies for combating it, and triggered an interactive discussion by the session attendees and our facilitators.
12:15 PM came too quickly, and we reassembled for lunch and the start of the 12:30 lunchtime plenary discussion focusing on the health and wellness of Black bi and lesbian cis women of color.
That was also another informative discussion that pointed out the lack of research and data focused on bisexual and lesbian women, and also the dearth of information and research concerning masculine presenting women.
That segued into the second plenary session of the day that discussed the just introduced by Congress Equality Act moderated by Stacey Long Simmons. The panelists discussed the proposed law, gave us a snapshot of where we are in the legislative process (170 House co-sponsors, 40 senate co-sponsors) and how it impacts our Black SGL, trans and bi community.
We also has the pleasure of having one of the sponsors of the legislation in Rep. Ted Liu (D-CA) visit us, talk about some of the issues facing BTLGQ people, and then take questions.
And yes, your fave blogger asked one about getting trans as an identifier option on the upcoming 2020 census. His response? He likes the idea, and I`m going to have some discussions with his legislative staff about it.
There was also some discussion by Sandy James about the US Trans Survey, which is closing in a few days before the floor was opened to questions from the audience before it ended at 4:30 PM.
At 5:00 PM we made our way to the 8th floor of the building for the OUT on the Hill welcoming reception HRC sponsored. We enjoyed taking time to meet of and new friends, network and have some conversations about various subjects before it ended.
This first full day of the sixth annual OUT on the Hill is done. So looking forward to tomorrow and my own lunchtime plenary discussion.