The Sistah Vegan Project

I admit it, I’m a little confused….

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I have been searching for LBTGQ analysis/perspectives for the Sistah Vegan Web Conference for months now, and I have received no proposals.  Any suggestions on what is going on? I am wondering if people who identify as L, B, T, G, and/or Q may simply not feel safe to talk about their embodied experiences and/or critical perspectives during this conference?  Did I present the space of the conference as too hetero-normative and/or cisgender privileged space? I’m trying to learn from my mistakes, so any advice would be much appreciated. As someone who is bisexual identified and in a married relationship with a cisgender identified male, I have had plenty of experiences of ‘discomfort’ and not feeling safe when I was in certain situations and had to ‘explain’ to heterosexist  people that I was currently in a relationship with a woman. I got a lot of ignorant comments and homophobic remarks. I had to start being careful with  when and how I would correct someone’s assumption that I was heterosexual or call them out on their non-heternormative hating beliefs.

Below is the extended call for paper I posted the other month.

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We are having our first annual Sistah Vegan Conference this fall, on September 14, 2013. Registration is available now Anyone can register as an audience member . One need not identify as a girl/woman/trans person/womyn/vegan of color to participate. This is open to all.  It will be an online interactive conference (view tentative speaker line-up here), through the service of Anymeeting.com.  This means presenters can use webcams, audio, and PowerPoint which will be fully experienced by the audience. At the end of each talk, audience members will be able to engage in Q&A with the presenter. The entire conference talks will be video recorded and accessible after the event, to ensure that this valuable information will not be lost; it also ensures that those with internet access who could not attend will be able to access this information.

Right now we are still specifically looking for critical perspectives on veganism, animal compassion work, and self-care from the epistemological standpoint/embodied experiences of  women/womyn, trans people, and/or girls of African descent. Thus far, we REALLY need a critical queer theory perspective and/or lgbtq experience and challenges in heteronormative spaces. Thus far, I cannot find anyone to present on this topic. 8 weeks after posting the call for presenters, no one has submitted anything about LGBTQ experiences/analysis within veganism and animal compassion. This call for presenters is open to all transfolk, women/womyn, and girls of African descent or allies, regardless of ‘formal’ education background or writing/artistic style. We encourage academic and non academic presentations. Deadline for this specific proposal topic on queer analysis/theory is August 23.

Please send proposals with your name, institutional affiliation (if you have none, that is fine too), presentation title and a 200 word abstract. Presentations should be about 20 minutes long, with 15 minutes for Q and A. Email to breezeharper at gmail dot com.

As part of the Go fund me campaign to raise money for the Sistah Vegan Project , I ask that those who can help us, donate to see this conference happen.  All are welcomed to register and attend as audience members. Click here to register.  You can click here to view the tentative speaker line-up. I ask for paid registration in order to pay keynote speakers an honorarium, pay for webinar technologies, as well as other costs to make this event possible.

Also, let me know if you would like to transcribe the live talks for hearing impaired people. I am try to locate closed caption options for Anymeeting.com. If you are familiar with such a service, please post this info.

Please contribute what you can by clicking on the GOFUNDME Link below. If you do not want to use this method, but prefer paypal, click on the link on the right upper corner of this blog page to donate via PAYPAL.

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My Best
Amie Breeze Harper, PhD
Director and Founder

The Sistah Vegan Project
Www.sistahveganproject.com

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10 thoughts on “I admit it, I’m a little confused….

  1. rochelle on said:

    have you tried facebook? if you’re connected there, i can share you post on my wall…

  2. rochelle on said:

    actually…
    i simply cut and past this to my wall since i didn’t see it on yours after i found your page…hopefully it will garner some interest and submissions. good luck!

  3. I am trans and queer-identified as well as vegan, social justice activist and aim to be an ally to people of color. However as a white-male-perceived person I am not comfortable taking space in this conference as a presenter. I am also intimidated by the platform!

    You’re asking about safe(r) spaces – that’s a complex question with a complex answer I guess. I bet you’d get many different perspective. As for my perspective, just a small example – when I googled Anastasia Yarbrough’s name after noting that she’s a keynote speaker, I stumbled upon her facebook page that has the HRC “equality” symbol as a profile picture. As a radical trans queer who objects HRC (a unamazing organization that does a lot to privilege white gay men and has been historically harmful to trans folks) and objects marriage equality as a political agenda, seeing this support makes me feel like my queer analysis of the world may be questioned. I met Anastasia briefly and it’s not a personal critique but I thought it is appropriate to explain the complexity of safe(r) spaces.

    I wonder if one question could be where you posted your call. I just posted a link to your request in few vegan-queer/gay specific communities on facebook, as well as on the facebook page of the national animal rights conference (not because it was any good, but because there were queer people there! and we didn’t speak up enough) and my personal page.

    I found that lots of my queer intersectionalist connections were built through networking and various points of meetings.. Perhaps Pattrice Jones from VINE sanctuary in Vermont could point out some folks or participate? They have an amazing sanctuary that does lots of education around “connecting the dots” between different oppressions.

    Speaking of Connecting the Dots – http://www.connectthedotsmovement.com/ may be another good source to put out a call.

    I will definitely try to think of more sources :)

  4. Hi Breeze! I’m a queer person but my identity affords me many privileges that I feel exclude me from speaking to trans* identities. I identify as agender or genderless and am comfortable expressing as male currently so while I am accustomed to erasure, I don’t face overt discrimination. I also have zero educational introduction to queer theory (though I have some very basic knowledge from sources such as yourself and online communities).

    I think my voice is superfluous for this conversation but I strongly suggest you put a post out on the tumblr tags for LGBTQ* and the vegan community there because I know there is substantial queer representation. I’ll be reblogging it like crazy if you do!

  5. cstrigiform on said:

    I emailed you through the website for the conference but never heard back. I am not a poc but offered a last minute intersectionality take on veganism, queer, and Trans issues as well as race to the best of what I could write. I don’t think I’d have time now. Maybe there is an issue with the contact form on the site?

  6. Hi,
    My name is Melinda Gonzalez, and I have recently gotten involved in the food justice movement, both as an individual and a scholar. I have been a vegetarian for 20 years and a vegan for 15 of them. I think the topic, itself, is a bit limited for some. Veganism isn’t very accepted in communities of color quite yet. I wish I had a paper or two on the subjects your discussing. Unfortunately, I am not very well versed in Queer Theory enough to critique using it, even though I have studied Anthropology.

  7. sarah pinder on said:

    Hi Dr. Harper –
    Modifying the call to mention ‘trans people’, rather than ‘trans’ in the first sentence might be useful. I know you’ve used ‘trans folk’ later in the post, but I’m wondering if people will be put off by seeing trans used as a noun, when it’s an adjective. Being identified as ‘a trans’ by a cis person can be a point of frustration for trans people / be a source of suspicion as to the cis speaker’s awareness of trans experiences.

    I know this might not be of use, so close to the submission date, but it might be of use when creating material leading up to and during the conference.

    • It is of use. Thanks. I am unaware of trans people’s experiences which is why I am thankful for any suggestions and awareness that I can get. I replaced ‘trans vegans of color’ to ‘trans people’ if that is what you meant.

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