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UMass Amherst to host ‘Northeast Queer and Trans People of Color Conference’

Gathering, sponsored in part by UMass, will teach ‘Resistance, Vulnerability, Wholeness, and Magic’

A public university in Massachusetts will host a conference for LGBT minorities next month at which attendees will be taught “resistance” and “magic,” among other things.

On Mar. 23 to Mar. 24, the Northeast Queer and Trans People of Color Conference will take place at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Billed as “the largest annual gathering of QTPOC in the Northeast region of the United States,” this will be the fifth time the conference has come together.

“We aim to cultivate a collective where QTPOC can network, dialogue about and grow around the complexities of our intersections within and beyond the LGBTQ+ spectrum,” the mission statement reads on NEQTPOC’s website.

“The conference strives to provide unity, validation, and education for our attendees. Through building solidarity within our own community we empower future leaders, increase visibility, and produce positive impacts for the lives of QTPOC everywhere,” it continues

The theme for the 2018 conference is “Being Enough: Resistance, Vulnerability, Wholeness, and Magic.” The conference plans to hold a multitude of workshops, lectures and keynote speeches, as well as allow attendees a chance to network with others who hold the same viewpoints and lifestyles.

The event’s Facebook page currently lists 86 attendees and 390 “interested.”

The College Fix reached out repeatedly to the conference organizers via the event’s contact page, seeking to learn more about what the conference will offer, specifically the content of the numerous workshops at which attendees will study. None responded.

The event’s website lists four departments from the University of Massachusetts as sponsors: history, political science, nutrition and women, gender and sexuality studies.

Adeline Broussan, a PhD candidate and communications assistant at the university’s history department, introduced The Fix via email to Yilu Jin, one of the organizers of the conference. However, Jin did not respond to The Fix’s subsequent queries.

Richard Wood, the head of the university’s nutrition department, told The Fix via phone: “The university encourages diversity and this is a good way to encourage diversity. The more that we can do to raise the issue of diversity, the better.”

The conference’s schedule lists a total of five workshops over two days. On the evening of Friday, Mar. 23, attendees will be presented with a screening of the film “MAJOR!” That movie “explores the life and campaigns of Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, a formerly incarcerated Black transgender elder and activist who has been fighting for the rights of trans women of color for over 40 years.”

As late as Feb. 4, the event organizers were still accepting workshop proposals for the conference.

On Twitter this month, Aida Manduley, identified as a “Latinx sex educator & therapist,” stated that she will be presenting a workshop titled “”Kink In Color: Navigating ‘The Scene’ as (QT)POC” during the conference.

Conferences on the college circuit have been used numerous times in recent years to teach students about LGBT ideology. At the Catholic Loyola University a few years ago, an “LGBTQIA college summit” lectured attendees on ““bisexual/pansexual” and “poly/non-monogamous” identities.

A conference at the University of North Carolina last year, meanwhile, taught teenage attendees about “queer,” “sexual orientation” and “gender.”

MORE: Move over LGBTQ, the new acronym is LGBTTQQFAGPBDSM

MORE: Public university’s ‘Queer Women’s Sex’ event excluded ‘straight cisgender’ students

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About the Author
Ema Gavrilovic is a graduate student at DePaul University who studies clinical mental health counseling. At DePaul, she is involved with the DePaul College Republicans as well as with its chapter of Young Americans for Freedom.

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