LGBTQ Conference at Harvard
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LGBTQ Conference at Harvard

Panel descriptions


11:15 AM - 12:30 PM


Healing Within: LGBTQ Healthcare & Wellness

Austin East

Discrimination against LGBTQ people is associated with high rates of mental health challenges and substance abuse, and LGBTQ people face broad health disparities linked to social stigma, discrimination, and denial of civil and human rights. This session places these statistics in the context of everyday encounters with care providers and advocates, whose work extends beyond clinical walls. Join us as we talk with health and wellness leaders about their human-centered work and hope for the future of LGBTQ communities.

Out in Elected Office: LGBTQ Political Representation

Austin west

In recent elections we have seen unprecedented numbers of LGBTQ candidates running for, and winning, elected office at all levels of government in the United States. Simultaneously, there has been a groundswell of legislation passed protecting the rights of LGBTQ citizens. However, we also live in a moment defined by politics of hatred and fear, animated by attempts to roll back such civil rights gains. This panel will interrogate the role of LGBTQ representation in elected office in this political moment, highlighting the experiences of those who are out in office and how they see their tenure connected to the broader goals of the movement.

Queering Immigration

Austin North

At least 904,000 LGBTQ-identified adult immigrants live in the U.S. today. Approximately 30% of LGBTQ-identified adult immigrants in the U.S are estimated to be undocumented. Living at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, LGBTQ-identified immigrants face the challenge of navigating many struggles. This panel will explore issues LGBTQ+ immigrants face while simultaneously illuminating strategies for bringing about positive change, activism, coping, and resilience.


2:00 PM - 3:15 PM


Higher Education and LGBTQ Support

Austin North

How can we better support LGBTQ staff and students academically, professionally, and personally in higher education? This panel, composed of staff members from across Harvard University, will reflect on the current state of affairs (nationally and at Harvard) and discuss what can and should be changed for the better.

Queer Resilience: Stories from Artists and Activists at the Vanguard

Austin East

What stories are being told about LGBTQ people, who is telling the stories, and where are the stories being heard? How are artists and activists shaping these narratives? This panel features prominent LGBTQ advocates who are each leveraging national platforms—digitally, personally, institutionally—to share queer narratives, push back against misconceptions, and advocate for justice and equity.

Transgender & Non-binary Healthcare

Austin West

The trans and non-binary community experiences alarming disparities in mental health and primary care due to sociopolitical violence and discrimination that often extends into the clinic. Join us for a discussion on how providers are advocating within their institutions to provide gender-affirming healthcare, commit to community-based research, and invest in transgender health education. What challenges do physicians face within their institutions and within the trans community, and how are they partnering with legal teams to expand equitable access to healthcare for trans patients?


3:30 PM - 4:45 PM


The Future of LGBTQ Litigation

Austin East

Four years after ruling to protect same-sex marriage, the United States Supreme Court has become the most conservative Court in almost a century. Lower courts are filling with conservative judges as the Trump administration issues lifetime appointments in record numbers. In the face of this dramatically changing judicial landscape, what is the path forward for queer legal activism? Will impact litigation play the same role it has in the past, or should our focus shift? Moreover, what are the responsibilities of attorneys doing movement work? This panel brings together the lawyers tackling these questions and asks them to address the future of LGBTQ litigation.

Intersex Identity and Medical Justice

Austin North

Approximately 1.7% of people are born with intersex traits. These individuals, although diverse in chromosomes, biology, and physical characteristics, have to navigate the social and medical imposition of gender binaries. This panel will feature advocates and a medical provider within the intersex community. We will highlight both the diversity and resilience of intersex people, as well as the health risks that intersex youth face for medically unnecessary surgery and the subsequent physical and psychological complications. This panel will elevate the lived experienced of intersex individuals while emphasizing future growth, advocacy, and healing.

Queer Spiritual Care & Fightback in Late Capitalism

Austin West

This session raises queer religious and political perspectives on what scholar Bruce Rogers-Vaughn, in his book Caring for Souls in a Neoliberal Age, calls "post-capitalist pastoral theology." Evidence that capitalism produces isolation, anxiety, and deep inequality is mounting. There is a growing movement among spiritual caregivers to address not only the symptoms of this problem but also the source, offering comfort and witness while encouraging activism and resistance. These themes will be considered in the context of the lives of queer people, who both critique power and hold power in the neoliberal economy.