SF State LGBT community looks to unify at Queer Yo Mind conference

Although the rainbow is a symbol of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender community’s unity, the colors within it are still very much separated.
SF State will host its first Queer Yo’ Mind conference Saturday to promote a more unified queer community through a focus on issues such as racism, sexism and classism within the community, according to head organizer Lexi Adsit.

“We want to have a reflection upon where we are as a community and how we can go forward as a more unified movement,” Adsit said. “We are a little disconnected. I, myself, as a queer person of color (and) as a queer and trans person of color has really seen a marginalizing effort of folks doing work without folks of color or trans folk.”

Other participating members share similar feelings about the disconnected community at SF State.

“When I first came to the campus I was assuming, I guess, that SFSU was much more connected because it is San Francisco,” organizer Darryn Green said. “But when I went to the Queer Alliance, no one was there and I noticed the meetings were at a time I couldn’t meet. I wasn’t able to connect with them.”

The conference also aims to reconnect the students within LGBT organizations at campus, said Queer Yo’ Mind secretary Katie Tims.

“There is a queer disability community that is uprising on the campus, which is something that maybe not everyone is exposed to,” Tims said. “People who feel like they are not a part of the community will be able to find their spot in the community.”

The conference will begin with keynote speaker Mia Mingus, a physically disabled queer women of color. She has written and talked about community dealing with her own personal experience.

The conference offers 16 workshops, various speakers and presentations all touching on a variety of topics.

Workshops include 101 queer terms, challenging white masculinity and the breaking down of gender and sexuality, according to Adsit.

“I think I’m really excited just to build community, especially here in San Francisco and at SFSU,” Adist said. “We have a really rich, deep history, especially of radical activism and of queer radical activism. So it’s really exciting to bring up these topics.”

The free conference is Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Cesar Chavez Student Center.