From beginning to end an IGLYO conference always has a ‘jam-packed’ and intense agenda. For many participants tiredness just becomes part of their identity. However when speaking to most participants they say “Yes! We’re all really tired but I feel that the learning we have achieved this week and the connections and discussions around intersectionality within the LGBTQ community gives me great hope” (Santi).
The final day of the conference can be an opportunity to reflect and look back on participant’s hopes, fears & expectations. For the prep-team who organised the conference they always hope that “As a prep team we feel the conference has been a success and we have achieve the goals we wanted to achieve this week” (Ugla).
The day started with a look at a number of case studies discussing best practices from numerous topics such as Education, peer to peer learning and capacity building. An important discussion about safe spaces within the LGBTQ community was raised with a focus on building up and creating a safe space being key to supporting and giving LGBTQ people of all backgrounds, socio-economic status, gender identity, race & ethnicity the opportunity to feel confident in accessing services provided by LGBTQ organisations.
With the majority of participants engaging with the subject many excellent points were raised and comparisons were made between different regional realities and different realities faced by the activists. It is always important to recognise that during international events like Crossing Pathways experiences and best practice are applicable across the Pan-European region but it is important to be mindful of the realities within different member states.
The afternoon session brought with it reflection upon the participants and their organisations’ work. Participants underwent self-reflection asking themselves the question; “How intersectional is my organisation, with respect to socio-economic status, gender, race & ethnicity and (dis)ability?” Again the discussion raised valid statements and further questions. For many of us in society we accept reality through the privileges we possess, until society begins to critique that privilege like the participants today we will continue to see widespread multiple-discrimination to minorities and disadvantaged groups.
Reflection is good for us all but a day of reflection must always come to an end at some point. When speaking with a participant they said “There is such a nice atmosphere. Really nice people and you never know if your paths will cross again. I will miss the diversity of the group when I go home tomorrow.”(Anna)
An IGLYO conference is always a great opportunity to engage with people and new ideas, to explore your own knowledge and understand while meeting a diverse, fun and interesting group of young activists.
From myself, my fellow social reporters, the prep-team & participants we hope you’ve enjoyed keeping up to date with our conference blog and who know some day we may see you at an IGYLO conference!