LGBT leaders are everywhere, but for a few days this December, downtown Houston will be ground zero for openly LGBT leaders involved in government, politics and community organizations.
The 27thInternational Gay & Lesbian Leadership Conference will take place there December 1 to 4, according to the Gay & Lesbian Leadership Institute, which produces the annual event. Some 600 attendees are expected, including out leaders from Argentina, Mexico, Nepal, Poland, South Africa, Serbia, Philippines, Uganda, and Nigeria.
“I’m thrilled to welcome the Leadership Conference back to my hometown, and I can guarantee you Houston is going to show us all a good time. I’ve learned so much from my friends and colleagues at this conference each and every year, and I look forward to seeing everyone again this December,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said in a message to attendees. Parker, an out lesbian, has long participated in the conference, which began as a gathering of just a few dozen elected officials in the mid-1980s.
Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of GLLI, said Mayor Parker’s enthusiasm and leadership made Houston the easy choice for this year’s conference. “Mayor Parker is eager to show off her fantastic city, and we remembered a warm reception and a great time when the conference was held there in 2006. Local leaders have been especially welcoming and helpful as we planned this year’s conference, so I expect it will be our best yet,” said Wolfe.
In addition to several days of panel presentations and professional development workshops, some 40 individuals will also participate in GLLI’s Candidate and Campaign Training, which for two decades has served as a launching pad for the careers of LGBT officeholders and campaign workers. The training will take place concurrently with the Conference, and both events will be held the Hilton Americas Houston hotel.
For more information and a schedule of conference events, visit www.glli.org/conference.