The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Life

The Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, and Intersex Life

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OUT in Front College Conference

 

The OUT in Front College Conference is open to any currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate student at a two- or four- year institution, and to folks currently enrolled in both traditional and trade school programs. The conference is free to attend and allows you to meet peers from across the Southeast region to share resources, network, develop leadership skills, and foster a strong community of LGBTQIA+ and allied student leaders.

The mission of OUT in Front is to engage students, faculty, and staff from across the Southeast region in issues relevant to the LGBTQIA+ community and society at large. Each year, the conference strives to connect both individuals and communities with resources that will help to enrich the lives of LGBTQIA+ and Allies in the South/Southeast. OUT in Front strives to enhance leadership development for LGBTQIA+ and allied students.

Register for OUT in Front: Personal is Political here.

This Year’s Conference Details

When:

OUT in Front will be held on Saturday, February 24, 2018 from 9:00am-5:00pm.
Check in will begin at 8:00am in front of the Sarratt Cinema. Light breakfast refreshments will be provided until 9:00am. Opening remarks will take place at 9:15am in the Sarratt Cinema.

Where:

OUT in Front is held in the Sarratt/Rand Student Center at Vanderbilt University.
The address for the Sarratt/Rand Student Center is 2301 Vanderbilt Place
Nashville, TN 37240. Parking is available in the 25th Ave Garage, located at 2401 Highland Ave, Nashville, TN 37212. Volunteers will be along the route between the parking garage and the Sarratt Student Center to help you find your way.

What:

The theme and mission of the OUT in Front Conference changes each year based on current climate, policy, thought, and needs of the LGBTQI+ community. A group of students serve as the planning committee and participate in the planning and implementation of OIF for months in advance.

This year’s theme, developed by the student planning committee, is OUT in Front: the Personal is Political. Register for OUT in Front: Personal is Political here.

What happens in Washington is not an abstract concept anymore. It directly affects our lives. We do not get a choice whether or not our existence is politicalized as others have turned our lives into a debate, and we must defend ourselves. In the words of Tituss Burgess, “In our current society, we can’t afford not to be political.” Our existence is inherently tied to a larger society, and our personal decisions are simultaneously influenced by our society and influence our society. To have the freedom of living out our lives the way we want to, we have to get political and fight for those rights because there are some that want to take away what we hold dear, things that make us who we are.

Who:

We are ecstatic to welcome this year’s conference keynote speaker, Mara Keisling, Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality! Since 2003, Mara has led organizational and coalition efforts that have won significant advances in transgender equality, including the inclusion of gender identity in the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act from 2007 onward. As one of the nation’s leading voices for transgender equality, she is regularly quoted in major media outlets. A proud Pennsylvanian, Mara received her bachelor’s degree from Pennsylvania State University and did graduate work in American Government at Harvard University.

Mara will be joining us for a keynote address the day of the conference. She will also offer an hour workshop on bringing the personal and political together across the nation. Additionally, Mara will be present for the Transgender and Genderqueer affinity caucus during the day of the conference.

Learn more about Mara and the NCTE on their website.

The Details:

We are committed to ensuring that at OUT in Front, no individual with a disability or a disabled person is excluded or othered. Below are some notes about the conference in order to maximize your accessible experience. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us if there is more we can do.

  • The hallways might be crowded during passing periods. If you need assistance navigating the halls, please find a volunteer.
  • We are unfortunately unable to control strong scents, but we do ask that participants refrain from wearing strong fragrances.
  • Flash photography is prohibited.
  • Please respect folks who wish their photo not be taken (red dot sticker located on their nametag).
  • There are several entrances to this building with ramps, automatic doors, or both, and there is elevator access to all floors and meeting spaces.

Wireless Access for Guests at Vanderbilt:

Guests of the university can easily set up their wireless devices to access the internet by connecting to the wireless network (SSID) vummiv.

Connect to vummiv by selecting this as your preferred network. There is no password needed to gain access. If you experience connectivity issues, call the VU Help Desk at (615) 343-9999.


A Calming & Art-Making Space is an intentional room for well-being, equipped with meditation chairs, adult coloring books, calming sound machine, blankets, pillows, crafts, art supplies, & snacks. The Calming and Art-Making Space will be available during the entire OIF conference.

*Free* Conference T-shirts presented by Hip Hues and the Office of LGBTQI Life are available. You must visit the Hip Hues printing station to select your t-shirt size and the staff will assist you in DIY screen printing this year’s conference logo. T-shirts will not be given out at any other time than 11:00am to 2:00pm the day of the conference.

All-Gender Restrooms are located throughout Sarratt-Rand on all floors of the building. There are signs on restrooms indicating an inclusive space for all genders and some of these restrooms may have been altered for today’s conference. Two single stall all-gender restrooms can be found on the third floor of Sarratt across from Sarratt 325. All other all-gender restrooms have multiple stalls and are shared spaces. Please inform a volunteer if a sign has been removed, you need assistance, if you have any questions, or experience any kind of harassment while using the restroom.

*Free* and Confidential HIV Testing will be available between 9:30am and 3:30pm the day of the conference, thanks to MyHouse, an initiative shared by NashvilleCARES, Street Works, and Neighborhood Health. This testing will be in the form of a mouth swab test and will be in a secure, confidential room (Sarratt 311). Staff members from MyHouse will be present to ask you a couple of qualifying questions before the test and can help answer any questions you may have after you receive your results.

Community Organization Resource Sharing will be available on the Sarratt Promenade between 9:30am and 3:30pm the day of the conference. Multiple organizations in Nashville who specialize in all  facets of LGBTQI+ life in Tennessee will be present to share resources, answer questions, or offer giveaways. Be sure to visit their tables and learn more! Below is a list of all organizations present at the conference.

Bi Tennessee
CPI/The Mark
Healthy and Free Tennessee
MyHouse
PFLAG Nashville
Planned Parenthood of Middle and East Tennessee
Tennessee Vals
Tennessee Transgender Political Coalition (TTPC)
Vanderbilt Trans Buddy Program

Schedule of the 2018 OUT in Front Conference

8:00-9:00 Check-in & Breakfast
Sarratt Student Center
2301 Vanderbilt Place Nashville, TN 37240
Check in & day-of registration available in front of the Sarratt Cinema.
Light breakfast refreshments will be available in the lounge in front of the Local Java coffee shop.

9:00-9:15 Welcome Remarks
Sarratt Cinema

9:30-10:30 Workshop Session #1
Calming & Art Making Space available in Sarratt 112
Free HIV testing available in Sarratt 311
Community Organization Resource Fair available on Sarratt Promenade

Reclaiming: Faith & Sexuality for QTPOC
Presented by Luther Young
Sarratt 216/220
This workshop will provide a space for LGBTQ+ persons of color to engage critically with what it means to be both activists and people of faith, particularly in contexts that do not always affirm queer folk. This will be a space for participants to connect with other QTPOC for whom faith, spirituality, and/or communal worship is essential, and learn from one another’s shared experiences of navigating the intersections of faith, sexuality, and gender identity. Attendees will leave with methods of self-care and spiritual renewal in order to continue doing justice work, especially in faith-based contexts.

Let’s Talk About Sex (Ed)!
Presented by members of Planned Parenthood’s PG-13 Players
Sarratt 325
Join Planned Parenthood’s high school peer sex ed theatre troupe for a choose-your-own-adventure style workshop! This session will use original theatre to explore the realities of sex education in Tennessee, its impact on youth well beyond high school, and how we can take action to create inclusive and empowering sexuality education for all of Tennessee’s young people.

If Your Personal is Political, How Public is Your Personal?
Presented by Melinda Brown and Laurie Stevens
Sarratt 327
Before the days of smartphones, organized social justice activists often made conscious decisions about who could risk being arrested at a protest. Today, social media check ins, GPS tracking, browser histories and more, mean that everyone who protests, in-person or online, should think about how much personal information they share freely. This workshop will give you tips on ways to think about your personal data and how to protect your privacy.

Simulating Power: Teacher Educators and Trans Students
Sarratt 361
Presented by Antonio Peraza
The workshop will present a teacher educator simulation in development focusing on trans experiences in the classroom. The simulation aims to prepare teacher educators to be responsive to trans issues. We will discuss what allied teachers must know, ought to know, what we would like them to know, as well as the responsibilities of intracommunity teachers. There will be space for participants to share lived experiences in education where transphobia (or other forms of marginalization) have hampered their learning.

Queer Women and Lesbian Affinity Group
Rand 307
Facilitated by Roberta Nelson and Erika Nelson
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience.

Asexual and/or Aromantic Affinity Group
Rand 308
Facilitated by Brianna Nesbitt
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience.

10:45-11:45 Workshop Session #2
Calming & Art Making Space available in Sarratt 112
Free HIV testing available in Sarratt 311
DIY screen printing station for your free t-shirt available on Sarratt Promenade
Community Organization Resource Fair available on Sarratt Promenade

Problem Parents? Not Anymore.
Sarratt 325
Presented by Dawn Bennett
A STUDENT ONLY workshop. We will come together in Circle to discuss ways in which difficult conversations can happen. Learn skills to diffuse hostile communication and negotiate a hearing for yourself, so that life at home (or away) with parents is more mutually acceptable. There are particular methods of dialogue that work better than others, and we’ll discover what works best for you and your parents. It’s an one hour investment with a ripple effect for the rest of your life.

Self-Care is Warfare
Sarratt 327
Presented by Oliver Graves
Self-care is important, especially to the LGBTQ+ community, due to the high rates of suicide, addiction, and other mental health issues. Self-Care is Warfare aims to promote healthy and safe pastimes for anyone interested in strengthening one’s relationship with one’s self. This workshop defines the different types of self-care through a group activity using beads; then, a discussion about the importance of each catergory is encouraged. Participants get to take home a visual representation of their own dedication to taking care of themselves.

LGBTQ Policy, Practices, and Progress in K-12 Schools
Sarratt 363
Presented by Justin Sweatman-Weaver
LGBTQ students in Tennessee face hostility, harassment, and discrimination on a regular basis in their schools. However, data from the GLSEN’s National School Climate Survey demonstrates that when certain key supports exist in a school, adverse experiences are reduced and student outcomes improve. This discussion with adult and student leaders of GLSEN Tennessee will examine the evolving challenges and opportunities for LGBTQ students in the current socio-political climate and explore how community advocates can help fight for inclusive student clubs, teacher training, school resources, and educational policies & practices at the local, state, and federal levels.

Queer People of Color Affinity Group
Rand 307
Facilitated by Damien-Pascal Domenack and Deborah Lilton
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience.

Bisexual/Pansexual/Fluid Affinity Group
Rand 308
F
acilitated by Jasmine James
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience.

11:45-1:00 Lunch Break!
Lunch will be provided in the Rand Dining Hall (located inside the Sarratt Student Center).
Registrants must tell the cashiers in Rand that they are with the OUT in Front conference to receive a free entree, two sides, and one drink.

Calming & Art Making Space available in Sarratt 112
Free HIV testing available in Sarratt 311
DIY screen printing station for your free t-shirt available on Sarratt Promenade
Community Organization Resource Fair available on Sarratt Promenade

If you would like to get off campus for lunch, click here for a list of nearby restaurants.

1:15-2:15 Workshop Session #3
Calming & Art Making Space available in Sarratt 112
Free HIV testing available in Sarratt 311
DIY screen printing station for your free t-shirt available on Sarratt Promenade
Community Organization Resource Fair available on Sarratt Promenade

Metro Says You Can’t be Kinky Unless You’re Over 21!
Sarratt 216/220
Presented by Mercury and Alex
This presentation will discuss The Mark’s, Nashville’s Kink Community Center, upcoming advocacy and political efforts at the local level to return to serving the needs of marginalized kinky and sex-positive young adults between the ages of 18-21.  An overview of The Mark, Community Perspectives, Inc., and the organized kink and sex-positive communities in Nashville and Middle Tennessee. 
This presentation is not a BDSM/Kink 101.

Advisors of LGBTQIA+ Students/Groups Social
Sarratt 325
Facilitated by Liv Parks
Do you mentor, work with, advise, or teach LGBTQIA+ students? Come to this social to meet others who do similar work, share local and regional resources, and make lasting connections to build your support network.

(Birth) Control of Women of Color
Sarratt 363
Presented by Malik Hollingsworth and Alexis McCullough
Throughout the history of the U.S., women of color have had their bodies controlled by white supremacy. In this workshop, we will explore the timeline of how women of color have had their bodies policed and their reproductive rights attacked. We will connect that to what it means in our modern era as numerous forms of birth control and contraception are becoming available.

Defense of LGBTQ+ Students in the Age of DeVos
Rand 308
Presented by Cassie Norton and Karen Sun
In the age of Secretary DeVos, protections for LGBTQ+ students are neither confirmed nor guaranteed, regardless if schools are receiving federal funding or not. Within the Trump administration, the vitriolic rhetoric towards LGBTQ+ populations is damaging for students who are just learning to navigate their identities in the world. If the administration is unwilling to protect LGBTQ+ students, then we, as teachers, mentors, parents, friends, must assume this mantle. We want to facilitate dialogue in a space in which we can explore the possibilities for supportive spaces and pedagogies (for queer and straight students alike), and ideas for planning and action.

Transgender & Genderqueer Affinity Group
Rand 307
Facilitated by Mara Keisling and Mac Ploetz
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience.

2:30-3:30 Workshop Session #4
Calming & Art Making Space available in Sarratt 112
Free HIV testing available in Sarratt 311
Community Organization Resource Fair available on Sarratt Promenade

OUT-Spoken: LGBTQ+ Life at HBCUs
Sarratt 216/220
Presented by Ami’ Hanna-Huff, Peyton Fennell, Christopher Shelton, Prince Bush, Darren McClelland-Urbanski, Eddie Mathis, Jr., and Denver Wilson (members of the GSAs at Fisk and Tennessee State University)
This roundtable-styler workshop addresses the basic concerns of students on HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) campuses, from their personal, daily lives and interactions, to broader institutional and societal structures. As a result, the panel will highlight the intersections of the personal with the political in unique spaces of higher learning.

Working for Equality at the Local Level
Sarratt 327
Presented by Marisa Richmond
Fighting for equality is a challenge for those who have never been active in politics or have not worked to educate others about the lives of LGBTQ people. Currently, there is hostility to equality at the federal and state levels, but there is room for success at the local level. Attendees will discuss the challenges, and effective ways of affecting policies and laws at the local level.

Is Science Too Straight?
Sarratt 363
Presented by Tessa Eskander and Dylan Eralie
Although significant progress has been made for including minority groups in the workplace, LGBTQ+ scientists often feel isolated due to a impersonal social climate, unclear policies, and biases at work and school. We are outlining what to consider and be aware of when being a LGBTQ+ researcher in today’s climate. A Q&A with LGBTQ+ researchers will be available at the end of the workshop.

Giving a Voice by Documenting One’s Own Culture using Autoethnography
Rand 308
Presented by Dr. Mitsunori Misawa
This workshop will focus on how to document social justice using autoethnography, which is a qualitative research methodology that allows a scholar to study one’s own culture. Autoethnography has been used to understand how one’s cultural perspectives are influenced by social and political environments. Because the theme of the conference is The Personal is Political, it is important to address how one can capture their own culture in terms of the current social and political environments.

Queerality Affinity Group
Rand 307
Facilitated by Maria
Michonski
Affinity groups are closed community spaces centered around a shared identity where individuals can gather and draw upon a common life experience; in this case, the intersection of being queer, religious, and/or spiritual.

3:45-4:45 Keynote Talk by Mara Keisling
Founder and Executive Director of the National Center for Transgender Equality
Sarratt Cinema
All are welcome!

4:45-5:00 Closing Remarks & Dismissal
Sarratt Cinema

If you have any questions or would like to know more information, please contact Assistant Director Liv Parks (they/them) at liv.parks@vanderbilt.edu.