OUTstanding 2013, “Axes of Identity: Exploring Intersections of Diversity”

We are back again and we are working very hard to make sure we are here to stay. The planning committee is working very hard to insure that OUTstanding 2013 follows successfully in the past two year’s footsteps. We are still here, with the same mission: educating and exploring issues of LGBTIQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, queer and questioning) identity and equality. We are working toward UT’s VOL Vision 2015: to nurture and explore diversity, we hope you will join us (again or for the first time!).

Several occurrences in Knoxville and at UT over the past few years have proven, especially to the planning committee, that OUTstanding is one of the most important events UT could have. LGBTIQ visibility is becoming prominent in a way never before seen at the University of Tennessee.

The OUTstanding Planning Committee are an interdisciplinary group of students, staff and faculty from across the university who have banded together to explore the visibility of diversity and LGBTIQ cultural issues in order to create campus-wide discussion, education, exploration and celebration of intersectional diversity of the community on campus and in general society.  To do this, we have attempted to create a space where individuals and groups from UT, Knoxville, and the surrounding region, along with nationally recognized speakers and participants, can explore, celebrate, and facilitate discussions and networking surrounding these important issues.  The seminar themes and issues will be in the form of keynote addresses, presentations, workshops, panels, scholar forums, and inspiring entertainment from LGBTIQ artists.  Presenters and participants alike will come from diverse backgrounds and bring creative and intersecting opinions, views, and issues to the table.  Such issues for discussion include but are not limited to gender expression, class issues, race issues and ethnic LGBTIQ diversity, religion and community, disability within the community, campus environment, local history, and a special focus on how to foster continuing celebration and advocation of LGBTIQ rights and more.

One of the main goals of the seminar will be to encourage ongoing advocacy and engagement of students, faculty, and staff in LGBTIQ cultural issues. Attendees will gain insight and understanding of the LGBTIQ culture as stereotypes are broken down and the effects of discrimination are made clear. LGBTIQ attendees will have an opportunity to see the support available as well as become more knowledgeable about the history of struggles within their own culture. This seminar will explain terminology, such as what terms like ‘genderqueer,’ ‘pansexual,’ and ‘ally’ really mean and attendees will gain confidence in communicating about LGBTIQ issues.  We strive to bring awareness to the difficulties in maneuvering social constructs of gender and breaking down stereotypes and displaying individuality and diversity under the LGBTIQ umbrella.  Ultimately, we hope OUTstanding contributes quality, meaningful, and exceptional work towards a compassionate future for The University of Tennessee and other campuses, Knoxville and other communities, and the nation and beyond.

Register for OUTstanding 2013 here: Registration 2013

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