David Jay and Sara Beth Brooks, Swankivy and several other asexuals will serve as asexual delegates to this year's NLGTF's Creating Change Conference in Atlanta. Asexual. The founder of AVEN and the founder of the Asexual Awareness Week organization talked about their plans for the conference via Skype Wednesday.
Preparations for the event started in August. The organizations held a joint fund raiser to bring delegates to the conference in December. Contributors donated more than $3,500. The money not used for hotel rooms will be returned to Asexual Awareness Week and AVEN.
Plans for this year's conference include working with LGBT youth organization and forging alliances with mental health organizations. Reaching out to mental health organizations extends work that began at the 2012 Creating Change Conference. The Trevor Project announced that it would offer its services to teenage aces and add information about asexuality to its training materials last year. Jay wants to make sure that mental health organizations and mental health professionals understand the needs of asexual clients.
Ace delegates will also work on building bridges with LGBT Youth organizations. They will hand out pamphlets to representatives and provide contact information. Many LGBT organizations do not have enough information to create safe spaces for asexual youth, even though an increasing number of asexuals are joining these organizations. Brooks believes that the increased number of asexual delegates attending the conference will increase the chances of making additional connections. Even though a limited number of delegates were selected to attend the conference, asexuals from all over the country helped design the workshops submitted this year. As is always the case, not every workshop submitted to the conference received approval.
Brooks and Jay submitted workshops to the conference for several years. NLGTF organizers rejected these workshops until they submitted a film screening last year. Attendees had a chance to view Angela Tucker's documentary, (A)sexual. Although Anthony F. Bogaert's book, Understanding Asexuality, attracted more attention this year, neither Jay nor Brooks have copies to hand out at the conference. Jay plans to hand out copies of Tucker's documentary, and Brooks will hold a screening at Emory University. The screening is not an official part of the Creating Change conference.
The Skype discussion covered more than plans for the Creating Change conference. Both Brooks and Jay commented on the future of the organizations they represent. They also commented briefly on the current state of the media's coverage of asexuals..
Brooks started her commentary by talking about Asexual Awareness Week for 2013. As with last year, no official date has been set. This has not prevented individuals from taking planning their own event.. A High School in Oregon and the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia are planning to host the event, and an online event will take place in the fall. A number of websites decided to celebrate an unofficial Asexual Awareness Week during the third week of October.
She also plans to incorporate Asexual Awareness Week as a 501c3 non-profit corporation later this year. Achieving non-profit status would make fund raising efforts easier, and it would allow the organization to write grants. Volunteers have expressed eagerness to help with the grant-writing process, which Brooks compared to writing a thesis.
Jay took the time to comment on the current direction of AVEN. He has taken a less active role in recent years. It will continue to be a meeting place as well as an education outlet.. The San Francisco-based founder of AVEN is now working on his own business.