The MBLGTACC student planning team and Midwest Institute for Sexuality and Gender Diversity are thrilled to welcome Hayden Kristal and Katie Barnes as keynotes for our thirty-first annual conference.

Hayden Kristal

Date/time: Friday, November 3, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. EDT
Location: Central Bank Center

Hayden Kristal (preferred pronouns they/them/theirs, but accepts anything said with good intent) is a Colorado-based Deaf queer activist and stand-up comedian. Life at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities has led Hayden to a career as a professional speaker, exploring the intersections of ability, gender, sexuality, and access, particularly within the spheres of activism and social justice. They have brought their funny, engaging, and interactive workshops and speeches to dozens of conferences, businesses, and schools all across North America including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, TEDx, Coldwell Banker, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Katie Barnes

Date/time: Saturday, November 4, 5:30 - 6:30 p.m. EDT
Location: Central Bank Center

Katie Barnes (they/them/their) is an award winning journalist covering the intersection of sports and gender. As a feature writer at ESPN, Katie has profiled women’s sports superstars like Maya Moore, A’ja Wilson, and Amanda Nunes. They are a leading journalist in the coverage of legislation and policy affecting transgender and intersex athletes, which they also cover in their book, Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates (St. Martin’s Press, 2023). Katie is a 3-time GLAAD award nominee and a 2022 finalist for the Dan Jenkins Medal, a prestigious award honoring outstanding sports journalism. They were named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

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