On the second day of IGLYO’s Crossing Paths conference, participants were divided into two groups after the initial morning gathering and energiser. Each group attended expert sessions on race and ethnicity, and socio-economic status.
The race and ethnicity session was facilitated by Peter of SABAAH, Denmark. It included a presentation and activities which challenged the notion of stereotyping and made us question the structure of power relations in society. While some participants were uncomfortable with being compelled to express an unnatural level of prejudice to reach certain conclusions, others deemed it important to openly acknowledge the existence of stereotypes before attempting to tackle issues that arise from them.
The socio-economic status session was facilitated by Didi and Ariane from Queer Strike, London, UK. Participants learnt about the various campaigns run by Queer Strike and shared campaigns lead by some of their organisations’ in their home countries. Discussions regarding the best ways to mobilise and join forces with our larger network of LGBTQ activists were underway. The concept of best practice was a recurring theme and the need for a forum to exchange such practices beyond the conference was highlighted.
The day ended with the entire group getting together and discussing the most pressing issues that surfaced during the sessions. Despite the controversy and debating, it is safe to say that it was a long but fruitful day. Participant Lucas humbly stated – “intersectionality is complicated”. As the week continues, we soldier on to learn and try and make our activism as diverse and inclusive as possible!