Ohio University

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Published: February 14, 2019 Author: Staff reports

Fifteen student leaders from Ohio University are traveling to Wichita, Kansas, for the 2019 Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference (MBLGTACC).

“The MBLGTACC conference represents a wonderful opportunity for Ohio University students to connect with their peers at other universities,” Vice President for Diversity and Inclusion Gigi Secuban said. “Our student leaders have worked hard to empower themselves and the LGBTQ+ community at Ohio University, and the ability to network with those doing the same at institutions around the country is invaluable.”

The student leaders attending the conference represent a broad spectrum of student organizations at Ohio University, including Graduate Student Senate, Student Senate, the LGBT Center, the Women’s Center, and Residence Life. They will leave Friday, Feb. 15, and return to campus Monday, Feb. 18.

“I am so thankful that Ohio University is sending me to this conference where I will learn how to facilitate a variety of conversations that I can bring back in my role on the LGBT Commission of Student Senate,” said Korbyn Newman, a freshman sociology major from Lancaster, Ohio.

“Coming out was the toughest and best decision I’ve ever made. I was the only out gay male in my high school and being able to attend this conference shatters my view of reality,” said Caden Madison, a sophomore applied communications major from East Liverpool, Ohio. “I’m so excited to network and be around the people who have shared the same experiences that I’ve had.”

The conference connects, educates and empowers queer and trans+ college students, faculty and staff around the Midwest and beyond.

Speakers for the 2019 conference include:

  • Nyle DiMarco, an actor, model and activist and winner of America’s Next Top Model;
  • janaya khan, a Black, queer, gender-nonconforming activist, staunch Afrofuturist, boxer, and social-justice educator and an ambassador for the Black Lives Matter Network;
  • Jess Pettitt, a standup comedian with more than 15 years of diversity trainings in a wide range of organizations;
  • Pidgeon Pagonis, an intersex activist, educator, and filmmaker who was featured on National Geographic’s January 2016 cover for an issue titled Gender Revolution.

"I’m looking forward to attending the conference as we continue to learn how the campus can serve as a national leader in our efforts to create a campus community inclusive of all members of our constituency - especially our LGBT community," said Interim LGBT Center Director Tyrone Carr, who is leading the trip.

“I am thankful for the opportunity and thankful to the administration for giving me an opportunity to attend this year’s conference,” said Emma Blair, a freshman undecided major from Cincinnati. “I’m looking forward to networking and learning more so I can return to Ohio University as a better educator, LGBT Center staff person and overall, a better person that can be in a position to continue to serve the LGBTQ+ community and beyond.”

The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference has been held at universities around the Midwest since 1993. The conferences are organized by students on the host campuses. This year’s conference is organized by students at Wichita State University.