Guest Blogger

CHANGE: Buzz word of the presidential candidate campaigns, hallmark of the LGBT Movement

Filed By Guest Blogger | January 14, 2008 10:30 AM | comments

Filed in: The Movement
Tags: gay politics, gay rights, LGBT, NGLTF

[Editor's Note:] This guest post is by Jaime Grant, director Policy Institute, National Gay and Lesbian Task Force.

Jaime-Grant-headshot.jpgIt's hard to even remember what life was like before George Bush stole his way into the Presidency.

We've all slogged our way through an incredibly trying eight years – and we should be commended for keeping our heads up, stubbornly insisting on our humanity and the value of our lives, our families, and our participation in this great democracy.

For those of us who came of age during the civil rights, anti-war, or women's movement – the Bush years have been despairingly claustrophobic. For those of us who came of age under this regime, our vision of what our country and our lives might be has been terribly constrained.

Creating Change, the LGBT movement's largest, cross-issue, multigenerational, annual gathering of activists, researchers, policy makers and funders offers us a moment to break out of the Bush Box and beam ourselves into the still-forming possibilities of the future. What might our LGBT lives look like under President Obama? Who among us might President Clinton appoint to her cabinet?

Within this changing political landscape, what is our roadmap to full equality? What are the many paths we'll take to change and how will they converge, overlap and diverge to build the communities, states and nation we know is possible as we live, work, love and pray alongside our heterosexual friends and neighbors?

Come to Detroit, February 6-10 and hash out our future with the best and brightest thinkers and advocates our movement has to offer. The conversation won't be complete without you, and it's sure to challenge, energize and entertain. (visit for more information.)

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we would not miss it for the world. marga gomez described creating change as a queer MENSA circuit party, and while I cannot vouch for that entire description, I can say I have missed ONE creating change conference and would not miss this year;s for anything

our whole family is coming - including our toddler - who had a blast last year and surely will again. for me, it is a truly inspiring, energizing and yes, sometimes frustrating experience - but it is the closest we'll ever get to a queer activist family reunion.

and post-ENDA debate and pre-presidential election this will be an interesting year....

I'd love to go to this one day, and if it's ever held within a reasonable driving distance of the NYC area I just might.

Personally, I think it sucks that almost all of these conferences seem to be held in the midwest or the south. While it might be doable as a day trip for some, for a lot of us airline, hotel, and then expensive conference fees on top of that make something like this event just completely unaffordable.

The last time I went to DC to lobby, I rode down with a fellow activist and crashed with friends, and with about $10 in my purse. Attending something like CC would end up costing probably near a grand all together, waaay out of my price range and, I'd suspect, a lot of people's, particularly transfolks.

It would just really be nice if these conferences weren't so cost-prohibitive to attend.

I agree, Rebecca. This is an event I would love to go to, but it is extremely cost prohibitive. As a young activist in the community, I don't have a few thousand dollars to throw down for this event.

"The best and brightest thinkers" in our community aren't always the ones with the biggest paychecks.

Bill Perdue | January 14, 2008 7:25 PM

These conferences are very important but sometimes unrepresentative of the breadth of the GLBT movement.

A partial but very practical solution to the high cost of these conferences is to provide stipends for GLBT activists from GLSEN/ GSA chapters, college groups, immigrant and minority LGBT groups, transsexuals, retirees, GI's and others who are strapped for cash. If provisions like that are built into the budget and paid for by a small 'tax' on attendees who can afford it they pose no problem. I've also found that hosting hotels are very amenable to providing a few rooms at a nominal price for attendees who need them. And local groups, if they have enough notice can have a fund raising activity (i.e. drunken party) to send one or two people.

Making these arrangements also broadens the conference. Maybe next time around NLGTF can do something along those lines. Unions and leftwing groups have planned conferences on that basis for decades. NLGTF is far and away the best group to broaden and democratize conferences like this. Our movement needs a regular broad based congress of activists and thinkers to move forward.

Thanks for posting about this conference!

It's good to have a national get-together every now and then, but a lot of the work's going to happen when those activists get home. And it can't really be everywhere at once.

Jerame and I plan on attending. I'm not sure how many of our contributors will be there...

Cathy, Matt, Jerame, Bruce, Sean and I that I know of already. Past contributor Brylo will also be there presenting with Bruce...