Topics intended to describe where community’s various struggles intersect, organizers say
Equality March Texas will begin a series of panel discussions on LGBT civil rights efforts on Thursday, June 17, at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center. The series runs for six Thursday nights beginning at 7 p.m. each week
The series is entitled Cross Points in the Advancement of LGBT Liberation.
"We wanted a name that would describe our series as the struggles in our community and where they intersect and overlap," Latisha McDaniel said.
McDaniel is one of the members of the group’s Community Education Committee that created the event.
Committee member JW Richard said he put together about 20 topics that he presented to the group. They narrowed it down to six for the first Cross Points series.
"We’re starting with the most explosive issue around today," said McDaniel.
That issue is immigration and how it affects the LGBT community.
"We’re taking a step away from looking just at the Hispanic portion of immigration," said Richard.
One of the panelists is Cannon Flowers, executive director of the Human Rights Initiative. He has personally dealt with the inequality of immigration law for more than 10 years.
Had he been allowed to marry and if the federal government recognized that marriage, his partner would have been granted a visa issued to family members years ago.
Flowers’ partner, who is from Singapore, holds an entrepreneurial visa.
Jessie Garcia, president of LULAC’s Dallas Rainbow Council will also be on the panel. Denise Rodriguez of LULAC will moderate.
"Age and Activism" on June 24 will explore how being politically active for people in their 20s might be different than for those in the 50s or older. And Cross Points addresses "Opportunities and Pitfalls of being Out at Work" on July 1.
The series skips a week for the July 4 holiday and resumes he following Thursday with a "genderqueer/transgender" panel.
The final panel of the series is "Religious Gays" moderated by The Rev. Deneen Robinson.
McDaniel said that if the series is successful, they would plan another this winter.
"We’re not all on the same page with what we consider important," McDaniel said. "We’re afraid to talk about these issues in our community."
For a future series, she said, they would like additional outreach to straight allies.
"This is an experiment in educating ourselves," Richard said. "In the end, it’s about human rights and where we cross with others."
This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition June 11, 2010.