There are two other conventions important to my life as an unapologetically Black trans feminine writer and journalist that are happening as I sit here in New Orleans awaiting the start of Netroots Nation
And noting when I looked at the calendar that three events I wanted to attend were happening in different parts of the country at literally the same time meant I had to make a hard call on which one I would attend
Being asked to do the panels at Netroots Nation and it occurring in NOLA made that hard call easier, but it still isn’t going to be easy to miss my trans fam or my NABJ family, much less the convos taking place at both conferences.
In the Motor City, the National Association of Black Journalists are gathering starting today and running through August 5 at the Detroit Marriott at Renaissance Center.
I’ve always wanted to attend an NABJ event, and the first time I got to do so came when it was held in Boston in 2014. I was there to participate in a panel with Kellee Terrell and Kenyon Farrow on the topic of properly reporting about transgender people moderated by Tiq Milan.
Two years late I received the amazing experience of attending the joint NABJ-NAHJ Unity event in Washington DC at the historic Wardman park Hotel.
During a presidential election year, both the NABJ and the National Assn of Hispanic Journalists organizations hold their conventions there. It is an amazing opportunity to network with members of both organizations In addition to meeting my journalistic heroes and sheroes in the African American and Latinx journalism worlds , I also got to witness the panels and the press conference with Hillary Clinton
Starting at the same time as #NN18 is one of the largest trans conference s in the United States in the now Philadelphia Trans Wellness Conference at the Philadelphia Convention Center.
Probably because of its location in the City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, it draws up to 3000 people for its panel discussions and professional medical tracks.
It’s the event where I also met Jazz Jennings and her amazing family, and met Nicole Maines and her family in addition to having the opportunity to participate in some panels.
I have been attending the now PTWC since 2012, and the last time I was there for it was in 2016 for not only the conference, but a Trans United Fund board meeting.
That 2016 one I got there after a fun ride up I-95 with Fiona Dawson after we’d been to the White house for the LGBT Pride Reception. I got to spend some quality time with not only the TUF board and my friends in the community, but my homegirl Dionne Stallworth
That 2016 event is also memorable for me because the morning I was preparing to leave the city to go back to Washington DC, I began hearing the news about the horrific Pulse mass shooting in Orlando.
To my friends attending the NABJ and PTWC, sorry I can’t be there because I’m in NOLA, but definitely will be thinking about y’all as I’m scarfing down my beignets.