PHOTOS: Creating Change 2014 in Houston

Nona Hendryx performs Sunday at Creating Change in Houston. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

Nona Hendryx performs Sunday at Creating Change in Houston. (Anna Waugh/Dallas Voice)

 HOUSTON — Thousands of LGBT advocates departed from Houston Sunday as the 26th annual National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change came to a close.

The annual five-day conference set records for the amount of attendees and workshops in its first year in Houston. And the inspiration of the weekend was all around during the conference, from Houston Mayor Annise Parker’s welcome to trans actress Laverne Cox’s keynote speech and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Executive Director Rea Carey’s State of the Movement address. (If you missed any of the speeches, you can watch them here.)

And, like any celebration in the LGBT community, it ended with a bang as bisexual singer Nona Hendryx rocked out on stage on Sunday after brunch.

More photos below.

—  Dallasvoice

Task Force’s Rea Carey says to keep momentum going to create more change

Rea Carey, executiove director of the Natinla Gay and Lesbian Task Force, speaks about the future of the LGBT movement at  the Creating Change conference in Houston. (Jessica Borges/Dallas Voice)

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, speaks about the future of the LGBT movement at the Creating Change conference in Houston. (Jessica Borges/Dallas Voice)

HOUSTON — Rea Carey expects the momentum from 2013 to carry over and encourage more change and success for the LGBT community this year in areas like immigration reform, healthcare coverage and nondiscrimination legislation.

Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called on the 4,000 people at the National Conference for LGBT Equality: Creating Change to reflect on the advances last year and fight for more in the coming months during her State of the Movement speech on Friday.

“2013 showed us and this country that the wins of 2012 weren’t a fluke,” Carey said. “The momentum is in favor of progressive change. We are here to stay, our progress will continue and we will not allow this country to turn back.”

—  Dallasvoice

Rea Carey's 'State of the Movement' address

Rea Carey, executive director of National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, delivered the “State of the Movement” address at Creating Change. Here it is in four parts, about 40 minutes and worth watching if you missed it.

Part 1

(three more parts after the jump)

—  David Taffet

Creating Change: Rea Carey calls out Obama in annual State of the Movement Address

(David Taffet/Dallas Voice)
NGLTF Executive Director Rea Carey delivers her State of the Movement Address on Friday afternoon during the Creating Change conference at the Sheraton hotel in downtown Dallas. (David Taffet/Dallas Voice)

Rea Carey, executive director of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, called out President Barack Obama today during her annual State of the Movement Address, delivered at NGLTF’s Creating Change conference in Dallas.

Speaking to a crowd of thousands at the Sheraton hotel downtown, Carey recalled that a year ago, the LGBT community was filled with hope following the election of Obama and a new Congress.

But Carey said Obama has failed to live up to his campaign promise of being a “fierce advocate” for LGBT equality.

“We were eager to see what a fierce advocate could do, but now it’s a year into this new administration, it’s a year into this new Congress,” Carey said. “There have been glimmers of advocacy, but certainly not fierceness. Speeches aren’t change. Change is more than words. Change is action.”

As an example, Carey pointed to “don’t ask, don’t tell,” the military’s ban on openly gay servicemembers.

Obama has repeatedly said he favors repealing the ban, including during his recent State of the Union Address. This week, the nation’s two top military commanders told Congress they’ll conduct a yearlong study to determine how the DADT repeal should be implemented.

“Let me be clear — a yearlong study does not a fierce advocate make,” Carey said Friday. “A year is far too long to wait, and it’s time the president used the executive branch to stop these discharges now, while the military and Congress move to bring this shameful and discriminatory chapter of U.S. history to an end. Mr. President, the ball’s in your court. You have the opportunity to go down in history as one of the few presidents who acted decisively to move human rights forward.”

Carey added that Congress should be held “equally if not more accountable” than Obama, and she said it will ultimately be up to the community to “create change.”

“We thought we were finally going to have leadership that would stand with us, work with us and for us, but that hasn’t fully happened yet, and so it’s still up to us to push and in fact, to lead,” she said.

To read a full transcript of Carey’s remarks, go here.

—  John Wright

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