The CLAGS 2016 After Marriage Conference
As a CUNY alum, Hunter College BA and Brooklyn College MA, it was exciting to be a part of the CLAGS (Center for LGBTQ Studies) After Marriage conference. This is the first CLAGS event I participated in and it was an excellent space where activists and scholars engaged in conversation and reflection. I was on the Transnational Issues in LGBTQ politics panel and received insightful feedback from the audience about what organizations and issues to consider in future research.
In the open plenaries of the first day of the conference much attention was given to the reality of how poverty and lack of economic justice as a cornerstone of organizing to meet the needs for queer communities. Two of the speakers who made the most impression on me were Paulina Helm-Hernandez and Amber Hollibaugh. I've read Hollibaugh for years and admired her work with Queers for Economic Justice as an outspoken queer femme. The conversations at the conference sparked both inspiration and outrage, but fueled the work that so many of us who attended the conference do to continue to shine a light on the margins to bring the concerns for the communities we know and love to the center of the movement.
Follow along with the conversations from the conference at the #AfterMarriage hashtag on Twitter.
About the conference:
"On June 26, 2015 the Supreme Court of the United States ruled that the Constitution provides same-sex couples the civil right to marry. After the ruling, rainbow memes and #lovewins hashtags flooded the internet. But in addition to the celebration, we also began to hear more about what activists and academics have been saying for decades—that LGBTQ politics is about #morethanmarriage. The marriage equality campaign has been criticized for limiting LGBTQ political mobilization within a narrow “homonormative” framework, making invisible all of the many pressing issues that impact diverse LGBTQ-identified individuals. Since the ruling, donations to some LGBTQ organizations have declined, and longstanding organizations have shut down.
There is an urgent need for a major public conversation about this turning point in LGBTQ politics. This conference will convene such a conversation, raising the profile of the countless similar conversations already unfolding among activists, funders, and academics in order to explore possible agendas for LGBTQ politics and scholarship after marriage.
Many of the panels were recorded and will be available to view/listen to in the future.