Jose Antonio Vargas SpeakingPost by Rohmteen Mokhtari, Former HRC Coordinator, Family Project

Last week I was fortunate enough to attend the 25th National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change in Atlanta (aka HOTlanta). Organized by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the conference brings together a diverse group of over 3,000 attendees all committed to advancing social justice.

This year, as in years past, I was inspired by the power of the gathering’s affirming and inclusive space. For many in the community who’ve faced the silencing effects of judgment and rejection on a daily basis, spending three days in such a supportive and open environment can be life-changing.

The conference had many memorable moments. My favorites include:

  • Pulitzer Prize winning reporter Jose Antonio Vargas sharing his own journey coming out as a gay undocumented American and calling for comprehensive immigration reform
  • Members of the Queer Muslim community announcing the formation of a new national organization, the Muslim Alliance for Sexual and Gender Diversity
  • Deepak Bhargava of the Center for Community Change speaking of the importance of standing with all marginalized communities fighting for social justice
  • Bishop V. Gene Robinson speaking movingly of the inevitability of justice for the LGBT community and the important role of faith communities in the movement
  • Office Depot’s EVP of Global Human Resources recounting the incredible story of how his company went from a 43 to a 100 on HRC’s Corporate Equality Index

HRC was represented at Creating Change by a dozen staff as well as volunteers from the Atlanta Steering Committee. Staff presented sessions on inclusive schools, religion and faith, federal advocacy, and health and aging.

We’d like to send a big thank you to everyone who stopped by the HRC table to say hello.

See yall in Houston next year!

Filed under: Community

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