Welcoming our many communities to MBLGTACC 2019
February 15, 2019
These community welcomes serve as acknowledgements of our vast community to ensure we are centering subcommunities less visible or afforded less agency in the mainstream efforts for queer and trans liberation, bodily and sexual autonomy, and gender justice. These acknowledgements have been drafted by members of the Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity, in collaboration with conference partners. We fully recognize this is not an exhaustive list and welcome recommendations for future community acknowledgements to continue honoring the beauty of our expansive collective. We fully subscribe to the notion that you cannot implore people to show up in their fullness if you only build space for a fraction of who they are, and this is one way we have opted to identify the intersections of our greater community.
We'd specifically like to thank Stephanie Skora, Sam Brinton, and Jake Oster for contributing to this welcome.
MBLGTACC acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Indigenous peoples who have stewarded it throughout generations. We understand that the history of colonial conquest and occupation of this land impacts our current conditions. We offer an intervention of this U.S.-based space and articulate our commitment to supporting decolonial efforts. We also offer immense thanks to the continued labour of the Water Protectors who continue to defend the Earth we share.
MBLGTACC values our Ace/Aro communities. We defend these communities as legitimate identities and encourage questioning the notion that sexual and romantic relationships are inherently good for all people. Along with the recent change to the conference name interpretation, we will continue to address the ways asexual and aromantic experiences overlap and intersect with queer experiences. Ace and Aro erasure are incredibly common and we hope to utilize our platform to ensure that we are highlighting these communities as well as continue education and advocacy that is ace/aro exclusive. Read more about how we’ve recently evolved the MBLGTACC name to re-center Ace/Aro communities »
Communities of Color
MBLGTACC honors our attendees from communities of color, and we acknowledge the existence of MBLGTACC as a historically white space and the violence that white supremacy consistently inflicts upon non-white communities. In doing so, we aim to decenter the experiences, narratives, and voices of white people, and intentionally recenter the voices of the Black, African, Latinx, Asian/Pacific Islander and Middle Eastern communities, among others, and provide opportunities and experiences for healing, reparation, and justice.
MBLGTACC appreciates our attendees that are entering ours spaces with both visible and invisible physical, psychological, and/or social (dis)abilities. We acknowledge the reality that our spaces are infrequently sufficient in accommodating all experiences & our society constructs processes and physical spaces without these communities in mind. We advocate for continued adjustments to our language, physical spaces and processes that better center the various needs of these communities & encouragement investment in greater accessibility to ensure all members of our larger community are able to participate fully in gatherings, movement actions & institutions of education.
Kink and Fetish
MBLGTACC emphatically supports kink and fetish community presences. We value the practice of group empowerment, and encourage the understanding that consent, trust and communication is vital; mental and physical health are of utmost consideration before, during, and after kink and fetish acts; and acts such as bondage and wax play, among others, are not inherently sexual in nature. We echo advocacy for risk-aware consensual kink and continued efforts to build empowering spaces for students to explore themselves and their playmates. With these spaces comes the necessary education of consent, and safety procedures in order to enjoy kink and leather. We advocate that attendees see that kink lifestyles are rooted in respect, affection, trust, and healthy enjoyment of the mind and body.
MBLGTACC embraces our multi-faith and multi-spiritual community, and we acknowledge variety of practices within our space. We especially recognize both faith and faithless narratives that are commonly erased or dismissed. We reject Christian hegemony. We oppose anti-Muslim sentiments. We oppose anti-Semitism. We embrace faith practices that are not Western in origin, and those that are not of the Abrahamic tradition. We recognize and uplift indigenous faith practices from across the world. We promote and celebrate the ability for people to reject or redefine spirituality through atheism or agnosticism. We also recognize the history of harm enacted on queer and trans people through institutionalized religion and honor that attendees may hold pain as an outcome of their relationship with religion/faith/spirituality.
MBLGTACC acknowledges our polyamorous and non-monogamous attendees. We recognize this community is frequently left at the margins due to the stigma around polyamorous relationships. We appreciate the expansive examples of love, lust, and amory demonstrated by the polyam and non-monogamous communities. We would like to uplift and support our attendees that are in polyamorous relationships and part of the polyam community.
Trans, Non-Binary, Gender Non-Conforming, and Intersex
MBLGTACC cherishes our trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex communities. We aim to center these communities in our shared spaces, including intentional designation of gender inclusive restrooms throughout the conference space, incorporating pronouns onto the conference badges and encouraging attendees to also defer to these voices in shared space whenever possible. We do not condone the pathologization or expectation of medical interventions to validate trans, non-binary, gender non-conforming, and intersex people. We support the bodily autonomy and self-determination of these communities to pursue and express their gender in ways most affirming for them.