Post submitted by Maureen McCarty, former HRC Deputy Director of Marketing

This year’s South by Southwest festival featured numerous panels, films, meetups and parties specifically geared toward the LGBT community.

The conference, which began in Austin, Texas in 1987, is an amalgamation of technology, film and music festivals. It draws thousands from around the world to network.

While LGBT individuals have participated since SXSW’s conception, the community is represented this year as never before.

The schedule this year was so packed with LGBT-centric events that some were held at conflicting time. To name a few: 

The Austin Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce celebrated the kickoff of SXSW with a “Big Gay Party.”

The next day Polari, the Austin Gay and Lesbian International Film Festival, hosted its annual brunch to celebrate the talented LGBT filmmakers and industry tastemakers over breakfast burritos and cocktails. 

Longtime SXSW veteran and Austin Chronicle Senior Editor Kate X Messer hosted another successful SXSW meet-up at the Empire. The event brought together professionals from a myriad of backgrounds to meet, discuss ideas and brainstorm.

DJ uLOVEi, an Austin mainstay, sported the HRC logo while spinning for the Cadillac ATS Close up party at the W Hotel. Cadillac, part of General Motors, scored 100 percent on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index.  

On Monday Lee Hirsch, director of The Bully Project joined Reddit Community Operations Manager Marta Gossage, Executive Vice President of the Ad Council Priscilla Natkins and Chief Digital Strategist of the It Gets Better Project Scott Zumwalt for the panel Bullying: Social Media as the Problem and Solution.

Even MSNBC's Rachel Maddow stopped by over the weekend to give a featured session on her New York Times bestselling book, Drift. 

The technology, or Interactive, portion of the festival wraps today, but there’s still plenty of LGBT –centric events to check out. Visit the SXSW gAyTX Guide

Filed under: Coming Out, Media

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