GLBTQ conference to promote equality

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Ayana Moore

The Multicultural Student Center and the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) will be hosting the sixth annual Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning (GLBTQ) and Allies Conference on Saturday.

The conference will last from 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and will be held in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room.

“It’s kind of a venue for all things gender- and sexual-minority-related,” Parrish Turner, president of GSA at Georgia Southern University and junior writing and linguistics major, said.

“I think people, especially allies, need to come out and see what it’s all about and see the variety of things related to GLBTQ issues and the culture that surrounds the GSM (Gender & Sexual Minority) community,” Turner said.

The GLBTQ and Allies Planning Committee has named this year’s conference theme “Postmodern Queer,” and aims to promote diversity and inclusion at GSU.

“I think it’s going to be a mix of educational and fun experiences that will expose all the people who come to the issues around the GLBTQ community. It will be a day to celebrate the GSM community on campus,” Nathan Palmer, member of the conference planning committee and professor of sociology at GSU, said.

The conference will include various interactive sessions led by local and statewide faculty as well as cultural and religious leaders from Georgia.

Some titles for the discussions include “Queering the Stage,” “The History and Development of an Artist,” “GLBTQ Identities in a Trans-national Context” and “Imitating vs. Reality: The True GSM Community.”

“It’s an opportunity to bring unity amongst social identities on campus,” Paul Bradley, graduate assistant in the Office of Student Activities, said. “I think a lot of students focus on the visual aspects and not the invisible pieces of what’s going on. I think that this will help the campus to be more inclusive.”

Early registration ended this past weekend but students are still able to purchase tickets at the door for $15, down $10 from last year’s conference. The tickets include access to all the conference offers in terms of speakers and activities as well as breakfast and lunch.

Palmer said, “This is for everyone. GSA is a group that services the entire campus. Everyone can be a member of GSA. There’s a misconception amongst heterosexual students that this isn’t for them, but it’s for everyone.”