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The After Marriage organizing committee has put together several featured sessions to highlight issues and angles we think are especially important. We’re very grateful to Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis for organizing two of the most important of these sessions, and today we highlighting the critical panel he’s put together titled “Deadly Denial: A Panel Discussion on the Unacknowledged Epidemic of Queer Poverty.”

This session will take place at 11:15 am on Saturday 10/1, immediately after the opening plenary in the same room. Click here for the full listing for the panel.

Joseph writes: “Recent years have seen study after study confirming what some grassroots queer activists have been claiming for decades: poverty among LGBT people is at crisis levels. Queer women, parents, people of color, senior citizens, youth, immigrants, rural residents, and transgender people all face poverty rates that are higher than their heterosexual, cisgendered peers. Yet there has been very little attention paid to this epidemic by the national LGBT organizations and statewide equality groups. This panel will present an overview of research findings, an examination of the causes and manifestations of queer poverty, a discussion of policy implications, and some examples of community-based responses to this epidemic. The panels will make the case for why poverty needs to become the number one issue on the new ‘gay agenda.'”

Panelists include SONG’s Paulina Helm-Hern√°ndez from our opening plenary (see our previous post for more on her!), as well as:

Amber Hollibaugh, focusing on how queer people are engaged in survival economies and exploring the precarious forms of employment available to many low-income communities. Amber is a well-known activist, artist, public intellectual and community organizer who has worked with a wide range of organizations, including as a founding member and formerly the Executive Director of Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ).

Cara Page, highlighting the issues faced by LGBT people of color, and the ways in which poverty impacts them and the solutions being advocated by queer activists of color. Cara is a Black queer feminist cultural worker & organizer, and she is currently the Executive Director of the Audre Lorde Project an organizing center in NYC for Lesbian Gay Bi Two Spirit Trans and Gender Non Conforming People of Color fighting for economic, racial and transformative justice.

And Joseph Nicholas DeFilippis, who will provide an overview of research findings, discussing research studies that document high poverty rates among numerous LGBT populations. Joseph is an Assistant Professor in the Anthropology, Sociology, and Social Work Department at Seattle University. He has worked in several capacities, including as a volunteer welfare-rights organizer and as the founding director of QEJ.

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