Founded in 1974, the Women’s Center was established to:
Dismantle, from a feminist perspective, all forms of oppression, including but not limited to those based on ability, age, class, ethnicity, gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Advocate for an equitable environment free from violence and harassment based on gender, race, and sexual orientation.
Create an anti-racist, non-sexist, queer-affirmative space where all people can feel valued and safe.
Facilitate and strengthen connections among people across lines of difference through programming and educational campaigns.
Integrate an appreciation of Women's Gender and Multicultural Studies across the disciplines.

Friday, November 5, 2010

10th Annual LGBTQ Leadership Conference

Yesterday, I, along with nine other Ramapo Students and the Director of the Women's Center, Kat McGee, ventured off to New Jersey City University for the 10th Annual LGBTQ Leadership Conference. The conference is designed to bring LGBTQ groups from all around New Jersey colleges together, with the opportunity of attending workshops and networking with other groups.

While at the conference, there were two fabulous keynote speakers - Cyndi Meneghin and Maureen Killian. If there names seem familiar it is because they are most known for being the plaintiffs in the landmark New Jersey civil union case. Cyndi and Maureen have been together for an incredible 36 years and yet their relationship is still not recognized by the state as being a marriage. Both shared anecdotes on their lives and stressed the point that they are just like every other couple - which I found refreshing.

I believe equal marriage would be easier for the opposition to understand if they realized that many gay couples are just like Cyndi and Maureen. Unlike the flashy, outrageous examples we see on TV and magazines, many gay couples have more similarities than differences to straight couples. When confronted by a friend about their relationship, the person could understand and respect their relationship, but could not quite wrap their head around sex. To that, Cyndi replied "We're all mothers here. How often do you think we even get to have sex?" in so many words.

The conference offered a number of workshops and I was even a presenter at one. Seeing so many eager and motivated LGBTQ groups in one place was certainly inspiring, and the new friendships and sponsorships forged on that day will only build the momentum for next year's conference.

No comments:

Post a Comment