Problem solving the movement

Netroots Nation- held this year in
Minneapolis Minnesota- is the largest gathering of progressive
bloggers, activists, and organizations in the country. I am here to
represent the issues facing our families and to raise the profile
and visibility of Family Equality in the larger progressive

My first day at Netroots Nation was a day long meeting of LGBT
bloggers and representatives of organizations called Netroots
Connect.  It was an incredible gathering of movers and shakers in
the equality movement.  The many sessions throughout the day
focused on issues which don’t get national attention, focusing on
being better allies, and addressing the most under served members
of our community.

In the first session we broke into groups to brainstorm ways to
“problem solve the movement.” Discussing these issues and asking
ourselves hard questions is often more important than finding
solutions. We asked ourselves:

  • How can we engage more effectively across race/ethnicity?
  • How can we engage more effectively across generations?
  • How can we engage more effectively across faith/non-faith
  • How can we ensure the LGBT blogosphere is strong and
  • Identify 5 key gaps in our movement?

In the second session we had a group discussion to share tips and
discuss more cooperation between bloggers and organizations. During
the “No on !” campaign to defeat a marriage amendment in Maine
there was unprecedented cooperation between bloggers and
organizations- and we discussed ways to foster that sense of
cooperation and community in the future. This is especially
important as we are gearing up for a campaign in Minnesota, and we
are paving the road to do that important work again.

The discussion in the afternoon was the highlight of my day:
Immigration Reform Through a Queer Lens” Group discussion
was lead off with some beautiful testimony from the panelists,
telling us how they came out for a second time as undocumented
workers. Watch this incredible video, courtesy of
Carlos Quiroz of Carlos in DC

In the final session of the day, we had an unprecedented internal
debate about marriage equality.  There was some great back and
forth, which would take too long to rehash here, but I was able to
make the case for why marriage equality is so vital to LGBT people
raising children, especially in lower income homes where people
can’t afford the high legal costs it takes to protect their

(Photos and videos courtesy of
Carlos Quiroz
of Carlos in DC)

Up next: a full day of workshops about social media and social
justice. More updates to come.