LGBTQA students to attend Midwest assembly


Courtesy of Katie Barnes


Madisun Vangundy

Thirty ISU Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgendered, Queer and Ally students will be going to Kansas City, Mo. this weekend for a conference that “can be a life-altering event.”

The Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference brings in 2000 people every year.

“The experience is tremendous. For some students, they have never been in a room with more than 20-40 max LGBTQA folks,” Brad Freihoefer, LGBT Student Services Coordinator, said.

MBLGTACC runs from Friday, Feb. 7 through Sunday, Feb. 9 at the Kansas City Convention Center.

 Walking into the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Ally College Conference can be a life-altering event, said Freihoefer. 

This conference provides an opportunity for students to be in the same space as thousands of people that share the same identity, said Sarah Miller, Education and Outreach Officer of LGBT Ally Alliance.

 “It’s really cool because everybody there is either in the community or is supportive of the community. There’s no fear. Everybody’s on the same level,” said Miller, .

Freihoefer said students come back with lots of energy and ideas on how to make their campus more welcoming, inclusive, proud and safe.

“I think it’s really helpful to get those students together to talk about what’s going well, how they are benefiting and how are they able to create change on their campuses”, said Freihoefer.

It teaches people how to come back with a better sense of themselves Freihoefer said. 

Anyone can take part in this event.

“Even people who don’t identify within the community are welcome to come and learn more,”Miller said.  “It’s a huge eye-opener. The atmosphere is open and very welcoming. There’s not any judgment.”

Entertainment, speakers, and 90 educational workshops will be at the event.  The Heartland Men’s Chorus kicks off the event Friday at 5:45 p.m. 

“Having a chorus is a fun way to celebrate with some good, prideful music,” said Freihoefer. There is a drag show saturday night.

“It’s pretty big. It’s a really good time to celebrate that side of culture,” Miller said.

 The event promotes leadership, activism, networking, diversity, health and empowerment according to the conference’s website.

Keynote speakers include, Chely Wright, Janet Mock, Rob Smith and Kara Laricks. All 2000 people congregate in one location to hear these people’s speeches.

“It’s very inspiring. It’s helpful for people in college or high school to have those role models. We learn how they’re successful and how they did it,” Miller said.

Workshops cover a wide range of topics. Students can learn about identities and race, religion, gender, sex, disability, history, education and schools, health politics, allyship, homelessness, professionalism, leadership, HIV/AIDS and more.

During the conference there is also a resource fair.

“There’s a lot of opportunities to meet, network and get connected,” said Freihoefer. Some of the biggest businesses in the country take part. Big companies want to be supportive and achieve LGBTQA outreach.