Last year, UC Riverside was named by The Advocate as one of the country’s best colleges for gay and lesbian students, so it’s only fitting that this annual confab takes place right here in the IE. With an activism-encouraging theme of “Out of the Rainbow and Into the Streets,” this three-day open-to-the-public event will feature performances, discussion panels, workshops, and waaay more than we could possibly blurb about here. (Check their web site for more info).
But here’s a brief rundown: Friday’s highlight will include a performance piece by poet and political activist Staceyann Chin (pictured). The New York City resident was also a part of the Russell Simmons Def Poetry Jam on Broadway. Saturday’s agenda includes keynote speaker and founder of the national Deaf Queer Resource Center, Dragonsani “Drago” Renteria. Various panels will be held throughout the day, including a Black and African Diaspora Queer Caucus, titled “The Healing Process.” Other forums will deal with hate crimes, supporting LGBTQIA youth in public schools, and immigration, privacy and transgender rights. Saturday’s session will also feature the films Kings of Drag: A Love Story and God & Gays: Bridging the Gap, and a photography exhibit that deals with gay activism.
One of the interesting panels at the Sunday session will be an extensive discussion on religion titled “The Biblical Texts of Terror and Passages of Promise for the LGBTQIA Community.” Adelina Anthony will be featuring a performance art piece titled “Requiem for Queer Amor,” which takes place at the turn of the 19th/20th century and deals with the struggles of being queer and anti-migration. The play will also feature ranchera singer Magaly. And don’t miss a musical performance by female underground hip-hopper SKIM, as well as the Kings of Drag show at the Queer Coffee House. Poet, playwright and essayist Cherrie Moraga, whose work includes plays such as Shadow of a Man and Heroes and Saints, will round out the weekend.
As for that alphabet soup which makes up the confab’s name? It stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex and Allies. So now you know. (Araceli Cruz)
The 2007 Western Regional LGBTQIA College Conference: “Out of the Rainbow and Into the Streets,” at UC Riverside, 900 University Ave., Riverside, (951) 827-2267; www.uclgbtia.org/conference2007. Fri.-Sun., various times. $35-$55.