No matter how inclusive US may claim itself to be, people belonging to the LGBTQA+ community have to face discrimination at all phases of life. Not only do they face prejudices and stereotypes but resentment for not conforming to the given binary gender norms. One of the major problems they face is the lack of communication with other fellow LGBTQA+ members and share their experiences. In one of its revolutionary conferences, Northeastern University organises its annual Reach(OUT) LGBTQA+ Career Conference that provides an answer to the varying anxieties members of the LGBTQA+ community may have when they go to work in an organization.
Brian Cole talks about her experience in workplace being a member of the LGBTQA+ community and how, being the first few people to openly come out about their non-traditional sexual and gender preferences, they did not have the right guidance or know what to do. This conference, then, is a pathway to help students not just receive career advice on being queer in the workplace but also seeing a reflection of how their lives may be in a few years to come. These provide important sessions to better counter situations that older members of the LGBTQA+ community have experienced and learn from them.
This conference is a learning experience in not just the academic or professional input it gives but a transformation in the personal level as well. Listening to stories about being queer to sharing their own with the crowd present, this becomes a platform to boost one’s confidence related to their sexual and gender identity.
N Malavika Mohan