Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference gets back in the “Gayme”
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the Commission for Gender and Sexuality at Bloomsburg hosted the annual Mid-Atlantic LGBTQA Conference in person for the first time since 2019 (the 2020 conference was held online). The theme was “Get in the Gayme: Bringing Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion into Play.” Since 2009, the conference has taken place every year except for 2021, when it was canceled due to the pandemic. The 55 conference attendees included students and faculty from four Pennsylvania universities and representatives from local medical and community service organizations.
The keynote speaker was Kena Gilmour, an award-winning college basketball player who was the first-ever NCAA LGBTQ Athlete of the year in 2020. Gilmour’s presentation was titled “Athletics as a Site of Queer Resistance: An Exploration of Belonging, Resilience, and Identity at the Intersections of Blackness, Queerness, and Athletics.” He shared his experiences of finding joy, empowerment, and hope in Queer Resistance before responding to questions from the audience. (See his presentation.)
The conference closed with “The 10th Annual Drag Show: A Decade of Drag,” organized by Bloomsburg University Equality Alliance (BUEA) and hosted by BU alum Trixie Valentine. The show had an audience of 130 students, faculty, staff, conference attendees, and local community members, who donated $854 to support BUEA and organizations in the local community.