Dr. Jillian T. Weiss

Off to the National LGBT Bar Association Conference

Filed By Dr. Jillian T. Weiss | September 07, 2011 9:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, The Movement, Transgender & Intersex
Tags: Lavender Law, National LGBT Lawyers Association, Transgender Law Institute

I'm flying off to Hollywood today to the National LGBT Bar Association Conference, affectionately known as "Lavender Law," which begins on Friday. Tomorrow, the day before the conference proper begins, we will hold the second annual Transgender Law Institute. The conference draws over 1,200 attendees and features over 35 workshops and panel discussions. The career fair, held on the first day of the conference, draws over 500 students and features over 130 recruiters.

I'm particularly excited about the Transgender Law Institute. Not only will we discuss key developments in the law of employment, incarceree rights, health care and identification documents, but I will get to see, up close and personal, friends who I have corresponded with over the past year only by email. There are about 60 people registered. These are people who are making a difference, one person at a time, in moving the courts forward on trans rights. It isn't glamorous, and it's slow, painstaking work, and often there are setbacks. But because the law is a network of agencies and courts and precedents and legal professionals who advise the corporations and government officials about what they can or can't get away with, one case can make a huge difference over time.

There are also some amazing workshops, like Basic Estate Planning, What You Need To Know About IP Law, and Emerging Issues and Practice Areas in Energy Law; With a Focus on the Electric Industry. Welcome to my world. Actually, more my speed: LGBT Employment Law Vantage Points - from BOTH Sides of the Table, Marriage as a Civil Right: Intersection of Gender, Race, Nationality and the LGBT Movement, Sex Stereotyping Discrimination in Public Schools, and Harmonizing the Wedding March: Equality, Religion, Ceremonies, Services, and Goods.

There are many, many conferences on so many topics out there, a working stiff like me can't possibly attend more than one or two. It took me a while to find this conference, and at first, when it was still the "Gay and Lesbian Lawyers' Association," last decade, I couldn't imagine feeling welcome there. It's not that gays and lesbians wouldn't welcome me, far from it. But it wouldn't be my home, but theirs. Now I feel as if I am a part of the whole, and to see all of these LGBT lawyers in one place is awesome.

And if I'm lucky, I may have time to take a dip in the pool, because the weather there is a lot better than the rainy weather in New York. Ooh, luxury. Will you look at this weather report from NOAA? Now this is what conferences are all about. I may skip that session on the estate planning.

Wednesday: Sunny and hot, with a high near 97.

Thursday: Sunny, with a high near 92.

Friday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 86.

Saturday: Patchy fog before 11am. Otherwise, mostly sunny, with a high near 81.

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Angela Brightfeather | September 7, 2011 12:37 PM


Just a quick note about the conference.
How about proposing a federal law that sets a standard for dealing with Transgender detainees? This might be a composite set of standards that can be adopted and written into legislation, or it could also be set up like the ne VA Directive and issued by the White House as a directive to all federal prisons. It would require the formation of a Task Force to assess any present regulations and make recommendations. This might set something up that if accepted at the federal level, can be taken to states by activists who can push it's adoption on a state by state level, thus creating some momentum.

Sounds like a good idea. I seem to recall NCTE working on something about this. I'll have to take a look and see before I go reinventing the wheel. Plus it's going to be an awful lot of work for somebody.