The conference is to be held September 23-25, at Florida International University’s Biscayne Bay Campus in North Miami.
The conference will feature more than 15 nationally prominent speakers, including:
• Zach Wahls - A 19-year-old University of Iowa student, Wahls became an online phenomenon last year when the video of his speech to the Iowa House of Representatives in support of same-sex marriage went viral. The son of two moms, Wahls has a unique and powerful perspective on the need for marriage equality.
• Jeff & Lori Wilfahrt - The Wilfahrts’ son, Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, was a gay service member who was killed in Afghanistan. In his memory, the Wilfahrts have become very involved in the fight against an anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota, which will be on the ballot in 2012.
• Sen. Cale Case – A Republican state senator from Wyoming, Sen. Case helped defeat an anti-gay marriage bill in the state legislature this year. He argued passionately that the bill was contrary to the state’s constitution, helping lead the country’s most conservative state legislature to reject the bill.
• Alix Smith - Smith is a visual artist whose work uses the conventions of portraiture to explore identity. She is currently working on “States of Union,” a project that documents same-sex families from across America.
• James Duke Mason - Mason created the Trailblazer Campaign in response to the scarcity of out LGBT actors in Hollywood. The online campaign encourages LGBT people in the film industry to come out, and then upload videos encouraging others to do the same, in the style of the It Gets Better Project.
Attendees at the conference will range from veteran LGBT leaders, dedicated volunteer activists, elected officials, and college students.
Michael Kenny, executive director of Florida Together, said, “We are excited to offer such an engaging lineup of speakers from around the country. I know that this conference will educate and inspire LGBT leaders from across Florida to continue fighting for equality in our state.”
Florida Together is a federation of more than 80 local organizations dedicated to achieving equality and justice for LGBT Floridians, and working toward a Florida where the rights and dignity of all citizens are recognized. Annual conferences are a major part of the organization’s mission of connecting and empowering local organizations to share resources, skills and information. Visit FLTogetherFed.org for more information.
The conference is made possible in part by a grant from The Miami Foundation.