LGBTQ conference to educate and celebrate

Jake Hunsbusher

People from all walks of life are coming together to celebrate and learn about diversity and acceptance at one of the largest Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trasgender and Questioning (LGBTQ) and Allies conferences in Georgia.

The LGBTQ conference, which will be on Nov. 3, will have events focused on a multitude of topics, but the purpose of the conference is to bring people together to inform and initiate a deeper amount of understanding of the Gender and Sexual Minority community, Michael Boddie, senior Spanish major and Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) president, said.

“Basically, students from different universities come together for lots of interesting workshops, inspirational speeches and of course gay prom,” Boddie said.

The term gay prom may seem exclusionary, but all are welcome.

Gay Prom is an event held during the LGBTQ conference which is for those people who did not feel as accepted at their respective school’s prom.

“It’s completely open to everyone. We are called the GSA for a reason; Allies are very important, if we don’t all stand as one then we all fall apart, as cliché as that sounds,” Cydnee Jones, junior graphic design major and secretary of GSA, said.

“Gay Prom is free and open to everyone who wants to participate. It’s a great experience. I know there were a lot of people who didn’t feel comfortable at their high school prom, and this is a second chance for them to really enjoy themselves in a safe and accepting environment,” Jones said.

“The LGBTQ conference is very much a place to be you,” Jones said.

The LGBTQ conference is focused around the Gender and Sexual Minorities (GSM) community, but it is not exclusive to it.

“I think that if you’re heterosexual it will open your eyes to what the GSM community is really like because there are a lot of stereotypes that give people negative ideas about who we are and what we do, and I think after the conference you won’t be as quick to judge,” Kyrston Hickson, senior biology major, said.

Hickson said, “It’s also a good learning experience for those who aren’t heterosexual; I know I learned a lot of things at the conference when I went that I didn’t know before. It’s a chance to learn more about the community, and you’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process.”