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These Stories Need Heard: Conversion “Therapy,” HIV Stigma, & Thriving While Trans

Written by gaytourism

One thing our movement has learned for sure is that our stories have the power to transform hearts and minds, and that we must never be silent. Last week, the keynote speakers at our 20th Annual Leadership Conference provided extraordinary examples of that.

Transgender advocate Queen Hatcher-Johnson spoke about overcoming violence and thriving despite the many barriers she faces.

Sam Brinton’s harrowing story about surviving conversion therapy garnered several news headlines. This year alone, we’ve banned this dangerous practice on minors in 4 states, and there are many more to go.

We never expected a speaker from one of our sponsors to bring tears to our eyes, but Amy Lukken of Tito’s Vodka, spoke movingly about her relationship to Pulse nightclub and extolled the incredible leadership of Equality Florida.

And, Cornelius Baker spoke about his connection to the work to end HIV and the stigma attached to it. Baker serves as the Chief Policy Advisor in the United States Department of State’s Office of the U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator and Health Diplomacy.

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Rebecca Isaacs

Since 2011, Rebecca Isaacs has been the Executive Director of the Equality Federation, the strategic partner to state-based organizations winning equality in the communities we call home.

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