The Connect Boston Summit was a great success this year. I had the opportunity to speak on the panel, Surviving & Thriving: A Conversation about Black and Latino Gay, Bisexual, Trans* and Queer Men. The more conversations I'm in about the lgbt communities of color, the more nuanced and layered the conversations become. We're giving a lot of examination to intersectionality and systemic oppression. These communities are becoming more and more aware of the fact that the matrix in which we do our advocacy work, whether advocating for the community or for yourselves is the biggest obstacles. People are starting to look outside of the pathology imposed on the interesecting idenitities that they represent. We're beginning to see that it's not empowerment programs we need; we need a completely paradigm shift in the culture.
We discussed internalized racism and homophobia in the medical system and how it manifests into apathetic and treatment that lacks cultural competency and compassion. We were able to examine how living in oppressive systems affects self esteem and ones relationship to themselves. These conversations are fresh and new and nuanced is exactly what we need to affect long term sustainable change.