Two workshops and one keynote down, I’m about halfway through my MBLGTACC 2012 experience and I am so glad I came. The atmosphere here at Iowa State, despite the bitter cold outside, is warm and happy. Last night’s keynote speaker, Rev. Jamie Washington, set the tone of awareness and change. His talk, “Living, Leading, and Leaving the World Better,” challenged us to “get intentional” about making connections and preparing for the next step. He asked us to get introspective about how we are living, how we are leading, and how we are leaving. He encouraged us to be inclusive, change agents, reminding us that we did not begin this movement and it will not end with us.
My 8am (!) workshop was called “Debunking Myths about BDSM” and was led by Tynan Fox (http://www.tynanfox.com/). I was really touched to learn more about this dimension of sexuality, which Fox often referred to simply as kink. He emphasized that this was just the way he had always been and there was no reason for BDSM and kink to have the stigma that it does. This is not solely, nor even necessarily, about the traditional definition of sex. He talked about many myths but left us with the one truth that he hopes will become myth: Kinksters are invisible.
At 9:15am, I attended Justin Ford’s presentation on Unpacking Privilege. I can’t say enough about how impressed I am with Ford’s presentation style. His activities engaged the audience on a deeply personal level. Yes, we all have different privileges and different levels of privilege depending on the various identity lenses, but making that statement versus really feeling its intention and meaning is the difference between reading this and being there. Ford emphasized more inclusive language about privilege, “racial” instead of “white” and “gender” instead of “male,” and the responsibility of those with various privileges to take action against these advantages and work together toward the common goal of equalizing the field. He concluded with a challenge to make a pledge to (1) be aware of our privilege; and (2) take action to equalize those advantages. (see document posted below)
I can’t wait to experience more of this remarkable conference and I am already getting really excited about MBLGTACC 2013!The following document is the intellectual property of Justin Ford and is used here with his permission.
30 Day Privilege Pledge