A Preview of the 2005 Unity
Former "Real World" cast
member Danny Roberts will lead a workshop at Unity. Photo
of The Collegian at PSU.
Put on your thinking caps,
folks – “Queerniversity: Testing Your LGBT-IQ” is the theme of the
third annual Unity Conference. The event, having expanded outside of
North Carolina to incorporate the entire Southeast, will run from
The weekend will be filled
with a total of 18 75-minute workshops on topics ranging from sex to
transnational queer politics to the legal rights of LGBTIQ citizens.
Former Real World cast member Danny Roberts will be featured as one
of many nationally recognized workshop discussion leaders.
In addition, Mandy Carter,
executive director of Southerners on New Ground will lead a workshop
on issues of race. Nationally renowned bisexual activist Robyn Ochs
will give workshops on biphobia and burnout prevention for
activists. Tranzmission, a drag troupe from Asheville, will present
puppet shows at its workshop on transactivism.
This year’s keynote speaker
is Suzanne Pharr, author of “Homophobia: A Weapon of Sexism.” Pharr
has been a pioneer in the Southeast in connecting social justice
issues with LGBTIQ organizing and was one of the first to critically
connect sexism with homophobia and heterosexism.
Another highlight of the
conference is the addition of Queer Bash. The dance extravaganza
will be held April 1 at 9:30 p.m. in the Great Hall at the
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
According to the event’s
mission statement, the goal of the conference is to foster a
progressive LGBTIQ movement in the Southeast that affirms and
reflects all aspects of the various identities of LGBTIQ people.
The 2004 conference had more than 100 attendees from 15 communities
and 11 campuses in North Carolina, Virginia and South Carolina.
Conference Director Trevor Hoppe is confident that the 2005 event
will be the best to date.
“The team of people we have
working to produce Unity this year is phenomenal,” he said. “I’m
confident that our work will pay off in April.”
Registration for the
conference is free for UNC-Chapel Hill students. The cost for all
others is $10. For more information on how to register and for
updates on the conference, visit the web site at