UCR Hosts First Asterisk Trans* Conference February 27-28, 2015

By Eli Brown, CHASS Dean’s Office Student Intern
February 26, 2015

Sponsored by the LGBT Resource center and organized by the Asterisk student organization for trans students and allies, UCR will be hosting the first Asterisk Trans* Conference on February 27 and 28 at the HUB on campus. Friday’s activities will run from 6pm to 8:30pm, and Saturday will go from 9am to 6:30pm.

The president and founder of the Asterisk club, 4th year English major and LGBIT studies minor Ash Preston, started organizing this conference last June. They purpose is to “create a safe and open trans space for people to learn, to help build community, to provide resources for trans youth advocates, to encourage allyship and to spread knowledge on trans issues and information.” Vice president of Asterisk Daniel Spears who helped plan the conference, stated “being able to see how many people have registered for the conference (415), getting the updates, giving people inside of the trans community the space to be around each other” is especially rewarding. “Trans spaces are very limited,” he said, “and being able to offer that and give the space to network and showcase successful people in the trans community” is something he looks forward to with this conference.

The conference will start with a film screening and Q&A with Trans Activist Bamby Salcedo, and spoken word performance by genderqueer poet/activist Ollie Schminkey on Friday night. On Saturday, there will be 22 workshop spaces, broken into 4 different time blocks, as well as a break for lunch with boxed Subway options provided. The day will start with a keynote by Miss Major Griffin-Gracy, an activist and advocate and the Executive Director of the Transgender GenderVariant Intersex Justice Project and will end with a closing and reception performance by D’Lo, a queer transgender “Tamil Sri L.A.nkan-American,” political theatre artist/writer, director, comedian and music producer. Director of the LGBT resource center, Nancy Tubbs states, “what is cool about the conference is that it is similar to the Tabla conference and Black Out conference at UCR where we are shedding light and sharing knowledge on diverse communities.”

The workshop spaces include topics such as “Trans Media 201 –Beyond the Basics,” “Trans & Queer Resiliency and Poetry,” “Health Providers Panel: Accessing Trans-Friendly Health Care,” and “#Ourmovement: Today's Grassroots Fundraising and Organizing.” A variety of professionals, activists, doctors, and members of the trans community will be leading these workshops for the attendees to participate and expand their horizons when it comes to transgender issues. The conference is designed for Trans college students and allies, Trans youth advocates, and individuals of all genders.

The Registration Fee is $20 per person and a t-shirt is included. Boxed lunches may be provided for onsite registration for limited amount of attendees, and is provided for all of those who have registered online. For more information on the conference go to http://asteriskconference.blogspot.com, or email the LGBTRC at out@ucr.edu or Ash at apres002@ucr.edu.

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