queer and trans conference :: swarthmore college

The 2010 Queer Issues Symposium

The 2010 Queer Issues Symposium will take place March 24-27, 2010.

Wednesday, March 24

4:30pm - "In defense of bathhouse sex, or, how an anthropologist can be an
    academic and maintain commitments to activism and social justice"
       (Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall)
       a lecture by Professor William Leap of American University

In April, 1995, the Washington DC city government attempted to close a recently opened men's bath house in response to allegations that management allowed and encouraged unsafe sexual activities to take place at the site. The hypocrisy of the city's stance enraged me. I was involved in several "public sex" research projects in the DC area at that time, and I knew that the homoerotic activities allegedly taking place at this bath house were also in evidence at other public venues throughout the city (public parks, rest rooms, gay bars, "straight" health clubs, and other gay bath houses) yet the DC city government was not taking action in response to those sites. So I joined the bath house's legal defense team as a pro bono expert witness on "public sex".

In this presentation, I describe how my research findings (and my presence on the defense team) became central to the success of the defense initiative. Then I position the "bath house defense project" within a broader career of activist experiences, and I reflect on the commitments to queer activism that shaped my involvement in this project, and has guided my work as scholar/activist on health care rights and related issues since that time.

Thursday, March 25

4:30pm - "At The Intersections: Queer Women of Color Films"    (LPAC Cinema)
       a film series by the Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project

TWO EMBRACE is an animated voyage to the beginnings of colonization as Two-Spirit people encounter the first immigrants. When her mother leaves the Philippines to find work in the U.S., Magic waltzes around doubt and fear to find love in MAGIC & THE MOON. Poetic and lyrical, A JOURNEY HOME depicts home and community for three queer Latina women in San Francisco. When Kelly's work visa runs out, her partner does a tricky tap dance with government agents and compels us all to LOOK AGAIN at queer couples and immigration. The dancing spirit of the 70's crosses from a queer Pinoy to his younger sister in PASSPORTS, LOVE & DISCO. The challenges of a queer single mum raising a male child is explored in IT TAKES A VILLAGE. A father's wanderlust and a daughter's relocation create a GENEALOGY OF DREAMS. While yearning for family and homeland, each member of an Afro-Cuban hip-hop trio blazes radical trails to artistic and social freedom as a NON-RESIDENT ALIEN.

All works created through Queer Women of Color Media Arts Project (QWOCMAP), which promotes the visibility of queer women of color through the creation, exhibition and distribution of films that reflect our lives.

9pm - "Oh, the Places You'll Queer" Parlor Party     (Shane Lounge)

Friday, March 26

4:30pm - "Policing Sex, Policing Gender: The Impacts of Gentrification and
    Quality of Life Policing on LGBT People"
    (Hicks Mural Room, Hicks Hall)        workshop led by Andrea Ritchie

How does policing of public spaces reinforce normative sexualities and gender binaries? How does "quality of life" policing increase opportunities for racial and gender profiling, police violence, and criminalization of queers? How can we integrate the perspectives and experiences of LGBT people into larger conversations about policing, the prison industrial complex, and community safety? How can we challenge the participation of more privileged members of queer communities in gentrification and the abusive policing practices that often accompany it? Join in a collective exploration of these issues and more!

7pm - "Critical Queer and Trans Political Practice: Movement Infrastructure
    and Accountability"
    (Admissions Commons, Parrish Hall)
       lecture by Dean Spade

In recent years, many social movements that center racial, economic and gender justice have been talking about how the non-profitization of social movement work in the last few decades has impacted what social movements do, who leads them, and their relationships with the state. How does this analysis apply to the trajectory of gay and lesbian rights work from the Stonewall resistance to police brutality to today's focus on marriage inclusion and other legal equality projects? What lessons can queer and trans people who want to build racial and economic justice-centered resistance learn from that history and what models exist for participatory formations that center leadership in people directly impacted by the most dangerous manifestations of homophobia and transphobia? How does community work focused on accountability and an analysis of privilege relate to the accountability of movement organizations and the work of radical transformation?

9:00pm - "Sins Invalid: An Unshamed Claim to Beauty in the Face of
    (LPAC Cinema)
       a video performance and Skype conversation with Sins Invalid

Saturday, March 27

11am - Symposium Brunch     (Sci 199, Cunniff Hall, Science Center)

11:30am - "Two Spirit People Then and Now" - Sex Gender and Sexuality in
   Historical and Contemporary Native America
     (Sci 199, Science Center)

a presentation by Harlan Pruden of the North East Two Spirit Society

The Indigenous peoples of North America have many cultural traditions that have often been misrepresented or suppressed through the colonization process. Some of these are the significantly different perspectives about sex, gender, and sexuality than those imported from Western Europe. In the 21st century, this tradition has passed to our peoples in what is generically referred to as Two-Spirit. This presentations will look at the past, present and future of the Two-Spirit tradition, our community and our roles in Native American societies.

1:30pm - "Land, Memory & Desire: a southern love story" - a workshop led by Paulina Hernandez     (Science Center 181)

Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is a 17 year old queer & trans southern regional organization that focuses on building, connecting and amplifying the work, lives, and resiliency of POC, working class, two-spirit, immigrant, disabled and rural LGBTQ folks living, loving and organizing in the South. This session is a short session to explore some of the themes of our work, as well as the frameworks, stories, imperatives and conditions from which it was borne out of.

3:30pm - "Queer Justice, Not Criminal Justice: Community Organizing against
    State Violence" - a panel featuring Dean Spade, Andrea Ritchie, and
    Marcellite Failla
    (Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall)

6:30pm - Culminating Discussion and Banquet with Marcellite Failla and Ejeris
    Dixon of the Audre Lorde Project's Safe OUTside the System Collective:
    Reclaiming Safety: How LGBTSTGNC people of color communities are
     challenging the mainstream anti-violence agenda
       (Scheuer Room, Kohlberg Hall)

RSVP to Swarthmore.Queer.Symposium@gmail.com

In the wake of the passage of the Matthew Shepard James Byrd act Communities United Against Violence (CUAV) and The Audre Lorde Project, voiced their public opposition to the law. Hate crimes legislation has been proven ineffective against reducing violence, relies on a racially biased criminal legal system, and does not address the root causes of homophobic and transphobic violence. Join us to discuss how grassroots LGBTSTGNC people of color organizations are resisting the mainstream LGBT agenda and creating our own strategies for safety.

For more information about the symposium, explore our site. Contact Swarthmore.Queer.Symposium@gmail.com with any questions or concerns.