Patria Jimenez Florez, the first Mexican Congress member to come out as a lesbian. A very small part of her speech, but a part that left a huge impact on me was her strong views against the the commercialization of pride events. She called for people to be active participants rather than just spectators. She ended her keynote by saying “We are against the systemic negation of human rights, of hatred, and homophobia. We are against war.”
Australian presenters Mark and Craig pose with Doug and Peter and the ugly doll. Mark and Craig did a presentation on the impact of the Howard administration.
The Convention hall in downtown Montreal seats approximately 2,000 delegates, and has been the site of the plenary presentations and the Workers Out caucuses. After three days of discussion, the 400 Worker’s Out delegates came to consensus on the Action Plan which will be part of the Montreal Declaration. The Montreal Declaration will be shared at today’s sessions. Hopefully we’ll be able to post a link for you. Other highlights to the third day of the conference included:
- hearing Ms Bayer from New Zealand sharing her experiences of being the first trans member of parliament anywhere in this world.
- passionate discussion on GLBT’s role in advocating for world peace, specifically the middle east.
- learning of what it is to be LGBT in China, Pakistan and India
- discovering the way young workers are accepted, or not, in their worksites because of their sexual identity
- the panel on Youth Video OUTreach
Angelo Dunlap, Michelle Lang, Kevin Buttner, the ugly doll, Wayne Hughes and Liv Gjestvag fromYouth Video OUTreach in Columbus, Ohio. This program uses digital media as a medium for youth to tell their own stories and is based on Listen Up! in New York. This panel was the youngest presenting panel at the conference, with the youth presenters ranging in age from 19-22. Liv, the director of this program, described their process as “creating a space where youth could take the reigns” and modeled this at the session by letting the youth lead the workshop. Liv called on adults to “really listen and learn from youth”. The young filmmakers were articulate, honest, brave and creative. Two of the narratives in the 35 minute video illustrated showing love towards those who are homophobic. I was so impressed at Angelo’s generosity of spirit and heart—he described the love he has for his mother despite her religious fundamentalism and her belief that he will go to hell. A teenage lesbian described walking up to a Christian anti-gay protester and telling him that she loved him. Love is an important message that I learned from these activist-artists. Doug and Peter also took a stroll up to the new Library in Montreal. Quite fine (but we still like our VPL Central Library!) Another great, but exhausting, day! (Still no sign of Liza, but we are hopeful that we will find her tomorrow. However, we have confirmed a date with kd lang and 30,000 others at the Opening Ceremony tonight.) posted by tara