Louisiana Queer Conference

This year's conference was on March 25, 2017 at the LSU Business Education Complex

Louisiana Queer Conference

Louisiana Queer Conference – The Louisiana Queer Conference provides leadership development, networking opportunities, and social support to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) college students and their allies in Louisiana.

The conference provides an annual venue for individuals to discuss ideas and collaborate on projects, while building a statewide network to advance the LGBTQ movement.

Queer After Party

Louisiana Queer Conference hosts a Queer After Party each year, as many LGBTQ youth do not get to fully enjoy or even attend prom in high school.

Queer After Party welcomes all gender identities and sexual orientations, meaning that you can bring whoever and dress however you like!

The 2017 Queer After Party will be at 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. at the LSU French House.

Keynote Speaker

Michael Sam is an American football defensive end who made history when he came out as gay ahead of the NFL draft, making him the first openly-LGBT player to be drafted in any major American sport.

Since his announcement, through scrutiny, criticism and unreserved admiration, he has become an icon and pioneer for the LGBT community.

Hailing from a tiny Texas town and the 7th of 8 children, Sam endured a childhood overrun with adversity, challenges and pain.

With a portion of his early years spent living in a car with his mother, Sam developed steadfast determination to make a better life for himself, identifying sports as his ticket out.

With unrelenting athletic aspirations, he went from water boy to star player, earning first-team All-District honors all four years of high school.

Presented with offers from numerous leading schools, Sam secured a football scholarship at Missouri and thrived with an exceptional career, culminating in being named a first-team All-American and Co-SEC Defensive Player of the Year.

Predicted to be drafted early in the 2014 NFL draft, Sam was drafted by the St. Louis Rams as the 249th of 256 players selected, after he came out as gay during an ESPN interview.

He is currently an NFL free agent.

In 2014, he was named one of GQ Magazine’s Men of the Year, was a finalist for Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year and the recipient of the Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the ESPYs.

A role model and trailblazer for inclusion in sports, revered for his unswerving courage, graciousness and fortitude, Sam offers firsthand insight into leveraging individual personal strengths to pursue ones dreams, inspiring audiences with perspective on what it means to work hard to define and achieve success.

Louisiana Queer Conference 2016

The 2016 Louisiana Queer Conference was held on April 9 in the Business Education Complex at LSU.

Over 300 students, professors, activists from across Louisiana and other Southern states came together at the Crossroads of Experience.

Together, attendees shared their stories, exchanged ideas, networked between community organizations, and learned about the many varied narratives that comprise the LGBTQA+ community.

This theme was chosen because although we are one community, we do not all share the same experiences or backgrounds of living as a queer person.

What is the truth for one person is not the same for another.

With this theme, we wanted the opportunity to discuss intersectionality and what it really means.

How do sexual, gender, racial, ethnic, socioeconomical, and vearying other identities intertwine.

What can we do both from a community level and from a personal standpoint to support those lived experiences?

What critiques need to be made to ensure our community is a safe space for all.

Here lies the purpose of LAQC – it is not to change the world in one day, but to encourage the tough discussions that need to happen in order to progress.

We were pleased to host a trio of keynote speakers.

All are Youtubers who use the social platform to talk about their experiences as a queer person of colour though comedy, telling personal stories, and connecting with their fanbase.

AmbersCloset started her channel to help others that may be struggling with their identity and to break stereotypes.

She also volunteers at LGBTQ centers and speaks on panels concerning LGBTQ topics.

F0XYHOTMESS stays true to herself, posting unapologetic and uncensored content that has gotten her attention from the likes of VH1 and The Daily Dot.

Her LGBTQ mini-series, The Qut Series, keeps F0XY’s style as she tackles topics many may be afraid to approach.

Hartbeat is a very outspoken and ridiculous comedian who brings in viewpoints from the lesbian side of the LGBTQ community.

Her comedy keeps viewers laughing, while also commenting on important topics that affect the queer community.

Together, Amber, F0XY, and Hart brought a hilarious keynote speech over an hour long, discussing topics ranging from their experiences in the community to even how they started their Youtube channels, ending with a Q&A session at the end.

Following the conference was Queer Prom, with the theme of “New Orleans Bounce.”

Louisiana Queer Conference 2015

The 2015 Louisiana Queer Conference was held on March 14 in the Business Education Complex at LSU.

Attendance was over 200 students, community members, professors, and activists across Louisiana and neighboring states as we came together to network, discuss, learn, and grow together.

Throughout the conference, we reflected on the theme, “Bold Not Broken: Queer Resilience in the South,” which centers the work of queer Southern activists that have lived, worked, and built lives here for decades in the face of a growing national narrative–that the South has been an “impossible” place to organize and is now the new frontier for LGBTQ activism.

We picked this theme because we are bold for living authentically as ourselves in the South, an area of the country where we can get fired from our jobs for being who we are.

Our region of the country is significantly poorer than the rest of the nation and discrimination has made a pathway to poverty even more likely for our community.

Despite these facts, discrimination has not broken our community but made us resilient and creative in our activism to fight for who we are.

The keynote speaker for LAQC 2015 was Jen Jones of Equality NC.

Jen Jones became part of the social justice movement in the South when she joined the staff of Equality NC in 2011 as the organization’s first-ever Communications Director.

A native of rural eastern North Carolina, Jen played a key role in the campaign against the state’s constitutional ban on marriage equality as the Communications lead for the coalition Protect All NC Families campaign, as well as the mastermind behind RACE TO THE BALLOT, an online and offline voter engagement effort to provide visibility and spur engagement around the harms of Amendment One.

Her digital activism has propelled Equality NC to the second most followed state equality group in the country, engaging nearly 200, 000 supporters every week.

Following the conference was Queer Prom, with the theme of “Queerpocalypse.”

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