Registration & Breakfast
“On the Basis of Sex”: LGBTQ Employment Rights at a Crossroads
Civil rights for the US LGBTQ community have shifted drastically over the past 60 years. From securing the community’s freedom of expression to validating marriage equality, LGBTQ allies and constituents have witnessed the significant decay of colossal barriers once deemed insurmountable to previous generations. Yet, for all the triumphs afforded the LGBTQ community, concerns over workplace equality remain largely unresolved. Pivoting upon recent legislative activity surrounding Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, our opening panel explores the broader implications for LGBTQ employees nationwide.
Taken: Exposing Global LGBTQ Sex Trafficking
In 2017 a ten-year study conducted by anti-slavery group Polaris of over 40,000 reported cases of alleged human trafficking and labor exploitation revealed that LGBTQ youth made up a disproportionately high percentage of trafficking victims across the United States. Whether through in person encounters or remote—and increasingly popular—interactions via webcam, phone sex lines or text-based chats, LGBTQ minors experience myriad forms of sexual slavery on a routine basis. This workshop examines the disturbing plight of LGBTQ trafficking victims both within and outside the United States. Our presenters will address social, economic and legislative forces contributing to this global epidemic and how professionals and companies can work together to help stop trafficking.
Breakout #1: Fellow Travelers: Encouraging LGBTQ Self-Identification in the Workplace (Breakout)
More than ever, employers are empowering LGBTQ workers with supportive workplace policies and lifestyle benefits to influence an inclusive workplace for all. Companies encourage LGBTQ communal growth through employee resource groups (ERGs), support of external LGBTQ organizations, and recalibrated workplace policies once deemed unfriendly toward the queer community. Yet, despite such remarkable changes, many LGBTQ workers remain hesitant to openly identify as LGBTQ. This session uses an interactive exercise to demonstrate strengths and vulnerabilities in self-identification. Throughout this session, participants will collectively outline strategies to promote a safe and encouraging workplace where employees can feel free to be their authentic selves.
Breakout #2: Spectacular Bodies: Privacy, Public Identity and LGBTQ Personality (Breakout)
Social media has forever changed the way people convey and receive information. Though often an entertaining way to engage the world, cringe-worthy moments shock the masses when seemingly private communications get thrust, however inadvertently, onto the world’s stage. From school yard bullies to political blunders, no one is immune in the court of public opinion. This session examines the ongoing transformation of LGBTQ experience in the age of digital identity. Our panel will explore several timely topics, including the celebrity influence of LGBTQ lifestyle, LGBTQ activism through social media, the rise of revenge porn and cyber hacking, the phenomenon of public outing, and the scourge of cyber bullying.
Becoming: Supporting the Transgender Journey
Though some see transitioning as a highly personal process, the truth is decidedly more complex. For friends, families and loved ones, learning to support—or in some instances accept—a transgendered individual’s new identity can be an uncomfortable or arduous experience. The same might be said for members of one’s immediate or extended professional network—even despite the best of intentions. This session seeks to understand how organizations and fellow professionals can best support colleagues, friends or family living a newly realized truth. Participants will work collaboratively toward fostering an informed and compassionate support system within personal and professional settings.
Original Sin: Religiosity, Same-Sex Desire & Institutionalized Homophobia
Homosexuality and organized religion share a lengthy if often vexed history. From quiet disapproval to “sanctified” execution, varied and at times ambiguous cross-denominational attitudes toward same-sex desire underscore a profoundly rocky relationship for LGBTQ constituents with religious inclinations or beliefs. Indeed, in an era where synergies between religious fundamentalism and homophobia coalesce with salacious headlines of sexual abuse and the Catholic Church, outbreaks of antisemitism, and anti-LGBTQ violence in Africa and the Middle East, religion—or more precisely, religiosity as such—has come to occupy a special place in the eyes of a general public. This closing conversation takes an earnest look at the role of organized religion in informing public policy and social norms around the world.
The OutLaws Soirée
Please join us for cocktails and canapés as we wrap up the day’s proceedings.