SATURDAY, 5th MARCH, 2016
HARVARD UNIVERSITY

The 2016 LGBTQ Conference at Harvard took place on March 5th.  Thank you to all speakers and attendees for helping to make it a great success.  We look forward to seeing you again next year!

Vision

The LGBTQ Conference at Harvard serves as an annual platform for bringing together diverse voices from within the LGBTQ community and our allies. The third edition of our conference was held Saturday, 5th March, 2016, and revolved around the theme "Beyond Marriage Equality: Rainbows at the Crossroads". Through a fabulous line up of speakers, panelists and much more, we highlighted the intersectionalities within the LGBTQ community and provided a platform to LGBTQ voices which often go unheard.


Leadership Team

Aaron Mahone

Harvard Business School

Alice Heath

Harvard Kennedy School

Ambrose Luk

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Andrew Stokols

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Blake Johnson

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Charles Fletcher

Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard Law School

Emmanuel Coloma

Harvard Graduate School of Design

Kirsti Campbell

Harvard Medical School

Nora McCormick

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Pamela Lachman

Harvard Kennedy School

Shane Hebel

Harvard Law School

Shivanee Sen

Harvard Graduate School of Education

Shreyas Navare

Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, Harvard University

Stephen Leonelli

Harvard Kennedy School

Ted Sands

Harvard Kennedy School

Yannis Valtis

Harvard Medical School

Speakers

Janson Wu

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

Keynote

@jansonwu

Robyn Ochs

Activist and Educator

Keynote

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

The White House

Keynote

Cei Lambert

Fenway Health

Panelist: Homelessness

Beck Bailey

Human Rights Campaign

Panelist: Employment

Danny Ballon

Harvard University

Panelist: Comparative Religions

@danielballonjr

Marc Dones

Center for Social Innovation

Panelist: Homelessness

Mihai Patru

Johns Hopkins University

Panelist: Global LGBTQ Rights

@mpatru1979

Misha Friedman

Independent Documentary Photographer

Panelist: Global LGBTQ Rights

@mishafriedman

Vanessa Calva Ruiz

Embassy of Mexico in the United States

Panelist: Global LGBTQ Rights

@vcalva

Susanne Fortunato

Lesbians Who Tech

Panelist: Employment

@scfortunato

Nick Goad

Boston Consulting Group

Panelist: Employment

@bcg

Brittany Charlton

Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Panelist: Health

@britshmit

Bishop Joseph Tolton

The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Panelist: Comparative Religions

Rabbi D'vorah Rose

Panelist: Comparative Religions

Tyrone Hanley

National Center for Lesbian Rights

Panelist: Criminal (in)Justice

Kylar W. Broadus

Trans People of Color Coalition

Panelist: Non-Binary

David Jay

asexuality.org

Panelist: Non-Binary

Jacob Tobia

Writer, Speaker and Advocate

Panelist: Non-Binary

Daniella Zalcman

Independent Photojournalist

Panelist: Comparative Religions

@dzalcman

Sue Fulton

SPARTA

Panelist: Transgender Military

@suefulton

Brynn Tannehill

SPARTA

Panelist: Transgender Military

@brynntannehill

Blake Dremann

United States Military

Panelist: Transgender Military

Sean Cahill

The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health

Panelist: Health

Amit Dixit

South Asian Arts Council, Boston

Panelist: Global LGBTQ Rights

Mark Schuster

Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Panelist: Health

Allegra Gordon

Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Panelist: Health

John Wambere

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist

Panelist: Global LGBTQ Rights

Ayala Livny

Advocate & Independent Consultant

Panelist: Homelessness

Twiggy Pucci Garcon

True Colors Fund

Panelist: Homelessness

Mandy Lussier

Youth on Fire, AIDS Action Committee

Panelist: Homelessness

Ethan Bernstein

Harvard Business School

Panelist: Employment

Richard Gadsden

Harvard Law School

Panelist: Safe Spaces

Natara Gray

Harvard Kennedy School

Panelist: Safe Spaces

Ty Hinson

Black and Pink

Panelist: Criminal (in)Justice

Mike Cox

Black and Pink

Panelist: Criminal (in)Justice

Jenae Moxier

Harvard Law School

Panelist: Safe Spaces

Ariel Eckblad

Harvard Law School

Panelist: Safe Spaces

Greater Boston PFLAG

Panelist: Allies

LGBT Asylum Support Task Force

Panelist: Asylum

Schedule

Janson Wu

Opening Keynote: Marriage Equality

10:00am/Ames Court Room

Dignity declared, yet still denied: The U.S. Supreme Court’s marriage equality decision in Obergefell last June was not only historic, but instructive for the future of the LGBTQ movement. While dignity may now be declared by the highest court in our land, it is still denied for too many. Hear from the Executive Director of GLAD, which has led the progress for LGBTQ rights for almost four decades, as he describes the scene from the courtroom on the day of the Obergefell decision, to the critical battles ahead.

Janson Wu

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders

Cei Lambert

Marc Dones

Ayala Livny

Twiggy Pucci Garcon

Mandy Lussier

Homelessness

11:10am/Ames Court Room

Many shelters are overcapacity, making it difficult to provide adequate services to the homeless populations the shelter serves. When individuals among this population identify as LGBTQ, then the ability to deliver services is further crippled. This leads to a frustrating experience between the shelter and the individual seeking services. We have some of the most talented experts on LGBTQ homelessness to weigh in on the issue of homelessness among LGBTQ populations. In addition, we will spend time focusing on youth and transgender populations to better understand the root causes of homelessness.

Cei Lambert

Transgender Program Patient Advocate, Fenway Health

Marc Dones

Senior Analyst, Health Policy, Center for Social Innovation

Ayala Livny

Advocate & Independent Consultant

Twiggy Pucci Garcon

Senior Program Officer, True Colors Fund

Mandy Lussier

Program Coordinator, Youth on Fire, AIDS Action Committee

Mihai Patru

Misha Friedman

Vanessa Calva Ruiz

Amit Dixit

John Wambere

A Global Perspective on Equality: Challenges and Opportunities

11:10am/North Room

Many activists are increasingly impatient with the progress made by the Equality movement in the U.S. and other countries where the rights of LGBTI people are legally protected, yet the challenges appear to becoming more dire in other regions—potentially as backlash against the progress witnessed elsewhere. It is undeniable that LGBTI rights and inclusion of sexual orientation and gender identity and expression are beginning to be expressed during deliberations about pressing global challenges, from forced migration to economic distress and poverty to lack of access to health services. This panel brings together speakers from a variety of sectors--diplomacy, journalism, civil society--to talk about effective responses to continued (and increased) violence against and persecution of LGBTI people. The panel discussion will explore opportunities and the positive developments in the global movement for Equality.

Mihai Patru

Human Rights Fellow, Johns Hopkins University

Misha Friedman

Independent Documentary Photographer

Vanessa Calva Ruiz

Member, Mexican Foreign Service, Embassy of Mexico in the United States

Amit Dixit

Founder and Executive Director, South Asian Arts Council, Boston

John Wambere

Ugandan Gay Rights Activist

Robyn Ochs

Mid-day Keynote: Non-binary

12:20pm/Ames Court Room

Beyond Binaries: Identity and Sexuality - This program explores the landscape of sexuality, and how we “map” sexual orientation. How do we assign labels to our complicated and unique experiences? In this interactive program, we will conduct an anonymous survey of those present and look together at the data. Where do we fall on the sexuality continuum; how do we understand our sexuality over time; how do we label? We will explore different experiences of identity, the interplay between gender and sexuality, the complexities of attraction, and more. www.robynochs.com

Robyn Ochs

Activist and Educator

Brittany Charlton

Sean Cahill

Mark Schuster

Allegra Gordon

LGBTQ Health: Destructive Disparities

2:00pm/Ames Court Room

Did you know that sexual minorities are more at risk for a teenage pregnancy than their heterosexual peers? Or that LGBT youth are more than 2-3 times as likely to attempt suicide as their heterosexual peers, often related to isolation, lack of acceptance, and bullying at school? Or that gay, bisexual, and other men (particularly those identifying as African American or Hispanic) who have sex with men account for most new HIV infections among youth and a substantial number of all new HIV infections in the US annually? With a moderator and panelists from the Fenway Institute, Boston Children's Hospital, and Harvard University, this panel will discuss ways to combat such disparities.

Brittany Charlton

Instructor, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Sean Cahill

Director of Health Policy Research, The Fenway Institute, Fenway Health

Mark Schuster

Chief of General Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Allegra Gordon

Research Fellow, Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Beck Bailey

Susanne Fortuna

Nick Goad

Ethan Bernstein

Employer LBGTQ Policy

2:00pm/East Room

"We spend a significant portion of our lives at work – for some of us, the majority of our waking hours are spent cultivating a career. Not long ago, social norms unanimously prevented non-heterosexual and transgender individuals from fully expressing themselves in the work place. Today, many companies and industries have come far, while others retain the stifling manacles of bygone days. Join our panelists, who have broad perspectives on employer policy and inclusion initiatives, to learn and discuss how to shape the future of a truly supportive and integrated workplace for LGBTQ individuals."

Beck Bailey

Deputy Director of Employee Engagement, Human Rights Campaign

Susanne Fortuna

City Co-director, Lesbians Who Tech

Nick Goad

Partner & Managing Director, Boston Consulting Group

Ethan Bernstein

Assistant Professor or Leadership and Organizational Behavior, Harvard Business School

Daniella Zalcman

Danny Ballon

Bishop Joseph Tolton

Rabbi D'vorah Rose

Sacred Struggles: Faith, Politics, and the Future of LGBTQ Equality

2:00pm/North Room

Religion and social change are mutually constitutive, with religious belief and practice evolving in response to ever-changing historical circumstances and theological debates often serving as proxy battles for forms of social and political contestation. This has been especially true for the global movement for LGBTQ equality, as religious authority from almost every major religious tradition has animated and legitimated prejudice, discrimination, and violence against LGBTQ individuals all over the world. This panel brings together scholars, activists, faith leaders, and journalists to talk about the ways LGBTQ people of faith and allies around the globe are fighting back, to reform religious doctrine and religious institutions, and in the process advance the cause of dignity, justice, and equality for all.

Daniella Zalcman

Independent Photojournalist

Danny Ballon

Master of Theology (2016), Harvard University

Bishop Joseph Tolton

Bishop of Global Outreach, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries

Rabbi D'vorah Rose

DL Rose Consulting

Tyrone Hanley

Ty Hinson

Mike Cox

Entrapment: Criminal (in)Justice in the LGBTQ Community

3:10pm/East Room

An American criminal justice system designed to protect too often disproportionately affects aspects of the LGBTQ community. This panel forcuses on some of the disparities LGBTQ individuals face across enforcement, sentencing and institutionalization.

Tyrone Hanley

Policy Counsel, National Center for Lesbian Rights

Ty Hinson

Formerly Incarcerated Leader, Black and Pink

Mike Cox

Formerly Incarcerated Leader, Black and Pink

Richard Gadsden

Natara Gray

Jenae Moxie

Ariel Eckblad

Safe Spaces: Continuing An Increasingly Important Conversation within LGBTQ Communities in Schools

3:10pm/North Room

The LGBTQ community is made up of an extremely diverse array of individuals. Of of the many things that make the LGBTQ community special is the vast number of subcultures that exist within it. Within the LGBTQ community, safe spaces that reach out to specifically sub-cultures within the community are increasingly becoming a topic of conversation. Ranging from communities that service just one letter of the community acronym, to communities that serve populations at the intersection of the LGBTQ community and other communities such as race or religion, safe spaces have become an important part of the conversation. Join this panel made of up of students and administrators at Harvard as they discuss their own personal experiences with safe spaces and continue the conversation about safe spaces within the broader LGBTQ community.

Richard Gadsden

Student, Harvard Law School

Natara Gray

Coordinator for Student Diversity and Inclusion, Harvard Kennedy School

Jenae Moxie

Student, Harvard Law School

Ariel Eckblad

Student, Harvard Law School

Kylar W. Broadus

David Jay

Jacob Tobia

Robyn Ochs

It's a Spectrum! Embracing Gender and Sexuality Beyond the Binary

3:10pm/Ames Court Room

In an LGBT movement that focuses so heavily on oppositional identities (straight v. gay/lesbian, man v. woman, cisgender v. transgender) how do we embrace those whose identities fall between or outside of the current paradigm? This session, featuring leading genderqueer, asexual, bisexual/pansexual, and transgender voices, will share strategies for talking about sexual and gender diversity beyond the binary.

Kylar W. Broadus

Trans People of Color Coalition

David Jay

Founder, asexuality.org

Jacob Tobia

Writer, Speaker and Advocate

Robyn Ochs

Activist and Educator

Sue Fulton

Brynn Tannehill

Blake Dremann

The “T” isn’t Silent: Military Service and Transgender Americans

4:20pm/Ames Court Room

The repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” left standing policies that bar transgender men and women from serving in our Armed Forces. Thanks to the work of LGBT veterans and service members, that barrier is falling. SPARTA’s president will join trans veterans to tell their stories, debunk myths about trans people, and outline the remarkable path toward lifting this ban. In the process, we will address why this issue matters to the larger community, and what makes a good trans ally.

Sue Fulton

President, SPARTA

Brynn Tannehill

Director of Advocacy, SPARTA

Blake Dremann

Active Duty Service Member, United States Military

Being an Ally Across Identities: A Panel Driven Conversation

4:20pm/East Room

How we navigate being an ally as a straight person, a cisgender person, and an LGBTQ person is an important conversation that needs to be had. So, lets have it! We also need to go beyond that as we understand intersecting identities across sexual orientation, gender identity, race, ethnicity, ability, etc. What does it mean to be a gay man who is an ally to trans women? What does it mean to be a white transgender person who is an ally to black genderqueer people? These are some of the questions we aim to answer as well as: What does it mean to be an ally and what is their role? What are the challenges of being an ally? How can we recruit and work with allies? Our facilitators and panelists will share their stories as LGBTQ folks and allies and there will lots of room to ask questions and force the dialogue.

Greater Boston PFLAG

Polly Laurelchild-Hertig

Sean Martin

Global Narratives: The Experiences of LGBTQI Asylum Seekers in the United States

4:20pm/North Room

Since 1994, the U.S. has allowed individuals persecuted because of their sexual orientation or gender identity to seek political asylum in the U.S. These LGBTQI asylum seekers face significant challenges: they cannot legally work upon arrival, they infrequently have protected legal status, and they face the complex U.S. legal system. Unlike other countries, the U.S. provides no legal, medical, or housing support for asylum seekers, and U.S. federal law prohibits any private or state organization receiving federal funding from assisting them. In collaboration with the Massachusetts-based LGBT Asylum Support Task Force, this panel shares stories of both asylum seekers and of those who advocate for them.

Polly Laurelchild-Hertig

Sean Martin

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

Closing Keynote: Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

5:30pm/Ames Court Room

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan is an Outreach and Recruitment Director for Presidential Personnel at the White House. She is the first appointee in the Obama White House who is openly transgender. Raffi previously worked at the National Center for Transgender Equality. Prior work includes Legislative Director for former state representative Carl Sciortino in the Massachusetts House of Representatives; LGBT Liaison for the City of Somerville, Massachusetts; advocacy work with the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition; and research assistance work at Boston University’s Women’s, Gender & Sexuality Studies Program. A graduate of St. Olaf College in Minnesota, Raffi was adopted from Honduras and grew up in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Raffi Freedman-Gurspan

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