My first blog post? Well, I was trying to decide on what I wanted to talk about, then I landed on the idea of a fantastic conference I experienced just two weeks ago. The conference is the Midwest Bisexual, Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Ally College Conference (MBLGTACC). I'm not even sure where to begin...
...I suppose I can begin at the beginning.
It was 4:30 Friday morning. I, of course, was not feeling the best due to personal reasons (which, I advise to be responsible and smart, especially if you have a conference to go to that early in the morning!). The 9 hour ride to Ames, Iowa was definitely a learning experience. I was very excited to finally get to Ames and to our hotel, considering I hadn't had a shower in about 30 hours.
After my ethereal shower, I got on the bus to the university. It was check-in and off to our first workshop! I decided I was going to the workshop on homosexuality and the Bible. After that, I attended the BEST keynote speaker I have ever heard! He talked about the 12 C's of Living, Leading, Leaving. I suppose the thing that stuck with me the most was what he said about courage: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but moving in the face of fear." The next day I decided to go to a workshop on Conversion Therapy. The speaker went through the therapy as an adolescent and it was an interesting thing to listen to. After this workshop, we split up and each attended state caucuses. I wasn't expecting it but I ended up facilitating the hour with about 70 well-rounded leaders from their respective communities. It was a great time!
That evening I was able to meet Pandora Boxx from Season 1 of RuPaul's Drag Race. She was quite the crude comedian, but I had a fantastic night at the drag show, nonetheless. After the show there was a dance and time to go back to the hotel. The next day I went to another keynote and we had closing ceremony. I am looking forward to MBLGTACC 2013 hosted in East Lansing, Michigan at Michigan State University.
The point of me telling all of you about this conference is not to show my support of the LGBT community or to persuade your views, opinions, or beliefs. The point of this post is to encourage you to push yourself past your comfort zones and do something you never thought you would be doing. I bolded the part about not expecting to facilitate a meeting for an hour, especially with people I've never met before. Growing up, I have experienced the worst anxiety of public speaking as I'm sure some of you can connect with me on. However, I keep pushing myself to work past that anxiety to be confident in speaking. Also, going to this conference helped me become more social and throw myself into situations one would not normally be in or have the opportunity to be in.
College will probably be THE BEST TIME OF YOUR LIFE. I encourage all of you to take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented to you. Scope out experiences you either never thought possible or experiences you might be too fearful or anxious to try. Be COURAGEOUS. As Reverend Doctor James Washington said: "Courage is not the absence of fear, but moving in the face of fear."