No lack of good times at Creating Change tonight

First of all, if you’re following the Creating Change feed, it’s kind of addicting, like a reality show, only without the images. Continuous hashtags and retweets keep the feed moving along. I’m expecting a whole slew of repeated quote posts as the State of the Movement is underway.

But, after all is said and done today and you’re on information overload, try decompressing a bit at Bilerico’s Twitter and blogger reception which looks to be a casual gathering of activist bloggers and the people who love them. Drinks and nosh are said to be on hand and they say no keyboards required. But I imagine TwitPics and updates will still come out of it. That’s at 8:30 p.m in the San Antonio Room B at the Sheraton Dallas.

OK, and thanks to the feed, people are meeting at the Draft Media Sports Lounge (in the hotel) at 9:30 for some Glee karaoke. And by the response and retweets, this is where the crowd’s going to be tonight. You can get the lowdown at #creatingglee.

And of course, there’s always the bars.

—  Rich Lopez

Creating Change: Day 3

Rebecca Voelkel and Pedro Julio Serrano at Creating Change
Rebecca Voelkel and Pedro Julio Serrano at Creating Change

I’m on my way down to the Sheraton Hotel for more of the great Creating Change conference. Meeting so many activists from across the country has been exhilirating.

On tap today – lots and lots of workshops. The hospitality suites are open. Great place to stop by for just a few minutes or for an extended period to meet people from across the country.

At 1:30, one of the conference highlights takes place. Rea Carey, executive director of NGLTF, delivers the state of the movement address.

And I have to extend a personal welcome to everyone to Shabbat services tonight at 7:30. I’ll be co-leading with Congregation Beth El Binah president Diane Litke. Everyone is welcome and you do not need to be registered at the conference to attend.

Should be lots of fun to share shabbat (dont worry – we spent more time worrying about the food than the service) with activists from across the country. And in case you’re worried that Jewish services tend to drag on and on and on, we only have the room for ONE HOUR. Gregg Drinkwater and Rabbi Joshua Lesser of Atlanta, editors of the new book “Torah Queeries,” will be speaking at the service (so no, you don’t have to listen to me rant and rave).

—  David Taffet

Obama and Clinton address Ugandan genocide of LGBT people at D.C. prayer breakfast

In Dallas this morning at the Creating Change conference, religious leaders from across the country gathered for an alternative prayer breakfast as a response to the one occurring in Washington, D.C. Harry Knox, the Human Rights Campaign director of the religion and faith program of the Human Rights Campaign, said he asked the president to address the issue of Uganda at the breakfast. Evangelicals who reportedly were involved in the writing of the proposed anti-gay legislation were attending the breakfast in D.C.

President Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton both addressed the issue directly in their remarks this morning.

Knox said that in addition to the Dallas event, groups gathered in 20 other cities to pray for the lives of LGBT Ugandans and their families who are threatened with state-sanctioned murder.

Rev. Stephen Sprinkle from TCU organized the service and Rev. Jo Hudson from Cathedral of Hope spoke. Others participating were Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of New York, Bishop Yvette Flunder of San Francisco and Rev. Rebecca Voelkel of D.C.

—  David Taffet

#cc10: Creating Change Tweet of the Day

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—  John Wright

Poet Kit Yan to slam Saturday's MasQueerAde Ball — but that's a good thing

Yesterday I posted video of Vidur Kapur’s stand-up as a preview for this Saturday’s festivities at Creating Change’s MasQueerAde Ball. Along with Kapur, headlining for the night will be trans slam poet Kit Yan.

Yan isn’t just spoken word. His MySpace page classifies him as indie, folk rock and comedy. He was even an OutMusician of the Year nominee, so clearly Yan is quite versatile. But I’d say his slam talent looks pretty amazing. He rocks it here in his piece “Third Gender” from the Good Asian Drivers tour.

According to the Creating Change program, Yan will also premiere OUTMedia’s national video contest, “Be Queer, Buy Queer!” where college students can submit original video using that theme.

The MasQueerAde Ball happens Feb. 6 at 8 p.m. in the Dallas Sheraton ballroom. Check here for deets.

—  Rich Lopez

Creating Change: Day 1


Creating Change opened today with day long institutes tackling racism within the LGBT community.

Attendees continued to arrive and received their welcome packets at the registration desk located on the first floor of the conference center across the street from the hotel. Saturday will probably be the busiest day at Creating Change. Many of the attendees were planning to head over to Cedar Springs for First Wednesday this evening.

Gabe Javier is the senior assistant director of the Spectrum Center at the University of Michigan. He served as local co-chair of Creating Change 20 in Detroit two years ago.

He said, “The city is still using the conference as a touchstone for the LGBT community’s common experience.”

He said that the value of the conference is that “we see a huge spectrum of issues and see that they’re all connected.”

FIERCE, a New York-based youth group, conducted one of the institutes. I’ll meet with them early this evening. After that, I’ll be talking to Roberta Sklar about the National Anti-Violence Project, if her plane is not delayed because of the weather.

Tomorrow morning, the alternative National Prayer Breakfast will be held at 8 a.m. in response to the prayer breakfast that will be held at about the same time in Washington, D.C. The president will attend that one, but so will the American instigators of the Ugandan genocide bill.

Kate Clinton mentioned to me that she wanted to run up to see George Bush’s house while she was here. She mentioned it again this afternoon on Twitter. When I interviewed her, I did sort of promise.

—  David Taffet

Tweeting up with Creating Change

Looks like there’s plenty of excitement down at the Sheraton Dallas for the first day of Creating Change, including this killer game of Rocks, Paper, Scissors that was posted by “fiercenyc”.

Unfortunately I won’t be able to make it to the conference today, but intrepid staff writer David Taffet is en route downtown as we speak. In the meantime, I thought I might point you to the Creating Change Twitter feed, where you can find plenty more gems like these:

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We’ll of course be posting updates here on Instant Tea throughout the conference, which runs through Sunday. There’s also a blog on the Creating Change Web site. For those who are reading this from the conference, you can follow the Voice and this blog on Twitter @DallasVoice.

UPDATE: Shortly after I posted this, I received a press release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force noting that in addition to Twitter,  you can follow the conference on Facebook and Flickr.

—  John Wright

Dance troupe Vogue Evolution from New York brings it to Creating Change

You’re probably planning on getting a whole lot of learning done during the Creative Change conference this week. Well, they also have some of your entertainment options provided as well.

So I’m jumping ahead here but at the closing plenary and brunch Sunday, New York’s Vogue Evolution will be performing. And they are probably gonna work it if their show looks anything like their bid to win America’s Best Dance Crew 4 on MTV last year. They are pretty amazing in the above compilation video of their performances on the show. Although I must say I was kinda charmed by this video where they won over an audience that didn’t seem overly razzed about it.

But they are more than a dance troupe. Check their bio from the Creating Change program after the jump.

—  Rich Lopez

One day to go till Creating Change


The Creating Change conference opens at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel tomorrow. National Gay and Lesbian Task Force staff has been in Dallas, some since last week. Attendees began arriving last night.

Earlier today I walked into an informal planning meeting being held outside one of the conference rooms at the hotel.

Jorge Taveras does E-blasts and Web work for NGLTF. He said, “I love it here already. The food’s amazing!”

Inga Sarda-Sorensen is director of communications for the Task Force.

“Lots of hospitality — just as we expected,” she said.

Sue Hyde said registrations are running well ahead of expectations. The conference contracted for 2,300 room-nights with the hotel. More than 3,000 room-nights are reserved.

With hundreds of workshops and speakers scheduled over the next few days, I asked Hyde what some of the highlights will be.

“Everyone’s excited that Dan Choi is coming,” she said.

Choi will be speaking on Friday. He has been in the news because, after fighting in Iraq, he is being discharged from the military under don’t ask, don’t tell. His appearance is particularly timely because of the congressional hearing today on the discriminatory policy.

Hyde also mentioned a plenary session on Saturday moderated by writer Kai Wright. Cynthia Ruiz and Jesus Montelongo from Youth First Texas and Juan Gabriel Padilla from Out Youth Austin will be on the panel with four other youth from across the country.

On Thursday, an alternative prayer breakfast will be held at the same time as the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. The event in D.C. is tainted, this year, by the appearance of the American “ministers” who proposed the LGBT genocide law in Uganda.

Sunday’s closing ceremony includes a performance by Dallas PUMP! Sheriff Lupe Valdez will speak and awards will be presented, including one to Dallas Voice columnist Hardy Haberman.

The day rate to attend the conference is $75 per day. Registration for the full weekend begins tonight. For those who could not afford the full registration price, 235 scholarships were awarded.

Stay tuned to Instant Tea and Dallas Voice for updates on the conference.

—  David Taffet