I can't believe how quickly a year has flown by. Meredith has received help from all sorts of people and her city hall meeting has come and gone. Now I'm (we're?) gearing up for summer, and I realize that there's a lot of great stuff in Austin happening for LGBTA folks to partake in within the next two months. So I will spend this post talking about some of these events, since it's positive and keeps me from crying over this class ending.
For those of you who are interested in getting your activism on, I recommend attending the Harvey Milk Day Conference. It's lasts May 24th through 27th, and is hosted by GetEQUAL TX. The first two days are comprised of a welcome party and a series of performances, and the last two make up the actual conference, full of workshops and speeches and ending with a march and rally to the capital. The idea is to celebrate the life of Harvey Milk, as well as share tools for becoming better LGBT activists. It's a free conference, but I'd recommend bringing money since vendors will be there selling cool queer merchandise. Here's the link! http://getequaltx.org/harvey-milk-day-conference
Another recommendation I have is that you go to a Texas Roller Derby (TXRD) game at least once this summer. I've been going to these games throughout the year and they are fantastic; you don't have to enjoy sports to enjoy these games. TXRD is really queer-friendly (they sell LGBT-themed merch and a great number of both fans and players identify as Queer), as well as feminist-friendly; they make fun of the neat little box women are supposed to fit in. It's $15 and it's totally better than football. It's easier to follow too. So if empowered women in skates sounds like your cup of tea, try a TXRD game. Here's the link!
Also, you have to go to QueerBomb on June 2nd. I didn't get to go last year and I died a little inside. Remember all the complaints about Austin Pride? How it's expensive, white-washed, and generally void of Trans folk? Queer Bomb is the opposite of that; it's free and inclusive of folks of all genders, sexualities, body shapes, races, religions, etc. There are all sorts of vendors, performances, and speeches; it's empowering and fun in a way that Austin Pride probably wishes it could be. There's a march and rally as well as a series of afterparties (some 18+, some 21+) too. I recommend you bring money to this since the vendors there will be selling cool queer stuff, and you will probably get thirsty at some point. You don't however, have to bring a shirt- because QueerBomb celebrates all body types, you can dress (or not dress) however you feel most comfortable. It's fabulous. Here's the link! http://www.queerbomb.org/
I'll be around Austin and intend to go to all of these events; however, I will also be working on a campaign to advocate for Queer homeless youth. Meredith, as well as her new allies and this fabulous cohort, ended up inspiring me to start working on this in reality. So if you're in Austin and feel like putting your advocacy skills to work, your friend Ash could use some help on getting the ball rolling. Ze'll probably buy you coffee if you do.
On a final note, I'd like to say that it's been an honor getting to befriend and work with this cohort in this program. Peers for Pride is absolutely creating change in UT Austin, and I'm proud that I can say I've been a part of that. Much love to Shane and Cohort 4, and best of luck to Cohort 5!
"Take that passion with you out into the world and act for change!"