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These are my thoughts, yo.

Filtering by Tag: social media conferences

SalonLGTBQ: A Social Media Conference For The Rest of Us

jasmine banks

I am just now getting around to writing about SalonLGBTQ. Some of you just freaked out and probably navigated away because of the LGBTQ. Those letters frighten people. Those letters make people want to disengage. Those letters confuse people... "WHAT DOES THE Q MEAN, OMG!" Well.

The "Q" in SalonLGBTQ stands for queer. It is what I am and it is what a large amount of the population identifies as. So WHY would the people of the LGBTQ community need a social media conference? I can hear it now...

"We don't have a straight conference! Why do you need a queer conference."

I am going to answer that question and TRY not categorize you with same people who ask me: "If Blacks get BET why don't Whites get WET."

*side eye*

We need a SalonLGBTQ because the mainstream social media conference don't fully support this demographic. Not that some haven't tried. I give mad props to Blogher for the things they have done. Queerosphere is awesome and the two years I have attended I've seen some great conversations being ignited for and about the queer community.

But. we. are. still. underrepresented.

So Deb answered that call. 

I've planned a social media conference before. That shit ain't easy. I can't imagine trying to get sponsors to take a "risk" with the queer demographic... but you know what? Some did. And to those few I will be forever loyal. Those sponsors get it. They understand the power and importance of the queer demographic. The LGBTQ social media community is large and diverse community with much to offer readers, followers, and consumers. SalonLGBTQ and the sponsors who helped launch this inaugural year get it.

The conference was an informal and friendly atmosphere. We kicked things off with #SpiritDay  Welcome Reception thanks to Riptide Publishing 



The conference sessions boasted social media power houses like Shawn from Logo, Joe from True Colors, Schmutzie, Reneé from Wells Fargo, and The Gay Dad Project. The sessions were brief bio panels with question and answer style segments. Each panel/session I attended had an intimate feel and there were lots of questions and comments. More than feeling like you were being taught or talked to by the "expert", there was a feel of community debate and brainstorming.  The environment was give and take. Several times I heard speakers say, "I don't know." I tried not to gasp.

Why? Because so often in the conference environment people try to embody expert and pretend they know ALL THE DAMN THINGS. It takes guts to be vulnerable and admit you aren't sure. These speakers were good at what they do AND humble enough to say "I don't know." I totally digged it.

The food was good (Atlanta knows how to eat!)

The layout was small and easy to navigate

and the schedule was just busy enough to keep my interest.

Life360 was a sponsor. THANKS Life360!!

Charis books

None of these things made the conference special for me. What made the conference special to me was this was the first time, EVER, I have attended a conference as a professional where I felt I had a safe space, a haven, to be myself. Sure there were the uncomfortable dynamics of dealing with personalities I don't mesh well with... but unequivocally I never felt that pause where I had to explain what it meant to be a "queer woman". I found myself not being the token black or queer. I found myself talking about things that I was passionate about without hesitation. I've never experienced this level of letting my guard down before, save therapy.

Purple dress

SalonLGBTQ has a lot of growing to do as a conference, as most young conferences do, but what it got BEYOND right was the dynamic and open people that supported the conference in it's first year... and I am happy to be one of them. Have I also mentioned. I love Deb Rox. I do. I love her, like whoa.

Deb rox pandas

See you next year Salon LGBTQ

Follow some of my favorites from SalonLGBTQ, y'all!** And stay tuned for follow up SalonLGBTQ posts**

Follow @dmcrawford and @freedomtomarry on Twitter.

  •  ::Gabe Briones is currently a Social Media Specialist for Southwest Airlines.  Nuts About Southwest blog.

Follow him on Twitter at @southwestgabe.

  • :::Matt Tumminello- Target 10, one of the first agencies to specialize in gay and lesbian consumers.
  • :::Sarah Frantz  works with all genres of queer romance for Riptide Publishing, an up-and-coming LGBTQ press.

Twitter: @sarahfrantz.

She is also on Facebook @4RealEqualityWeddings and Twitter@4RealWeddings.

  • :::Shawn Hollenbach is the Manager of Social Media Content at Logo

Follow Shawn on Twitter at @shawnhollenbach@LogoTVand @RuPaulsDragRace.

  • :::Polly has been blogging about her experience as a lesbian parent since 2006, at Lesbian Dad
Follow her on Twitter at@villageqtweets and @lesbiandad.