So while I was sprinkling my books about throughout the conference sessions and events, I had some amazing discussions around the featured content. I threw out some of the infamous one liners featured in the book, which were met with either a) I had no idea or b) OMG yes! It was pretty funny based on whether I was talking to an ally or an LGBT person, how the responses fell into one of those two reactions.
One of the plenary sessions featured a prominent business man who was amazing and brilliant in his business advice and acumen! However, during his speech he hit three (of the many) critical mistakes in mis-communicating with the LGBT community. When he said them I cringed a little on his behalf. He was so passionate, so genuine and so authentic with his care for the community, but he wasn’t armed with the right way to effectively communicate.
All three things he said have been the subject of previous blog posts or material in my book. What was so fascinating is that I had many people come up to me and say ‘hey, can you believe he said that?’ or ‘I’ve read that on your blog before.’ My response to all of the conversations I had were ‘I’ve addressed this topic on my blog and/or book, I’m so happy you are reading my materials. Ultimately he seems like a genuine man so we should give him the benefit that he just doesn’t know the right language to use.’ Everyone I said this to, had a collective, ‘yeah, that makes sense’ kind of response. It was great to have people come up to me and say they took notice, but also that people were understanding of his faux pas.
Now you may be curious as to the three faux pas. Drumroll please…
- He referred to the LGBT community as having a ‘lifestyle’ – read more on this topic here.
- He referred to being LGBT as a ‘preference’ – read more on this topic here.
- He used the phrase ‘Those people have style’ – read more on this topic here.
Overall, it was a wonderful experience! The conference was great and being able to meet so many people for the very first time was pretty awesome! And of course, seeing all of my longstanding friends, is always great too! I always want to find ways to meet more of you in person – so let’s keep figuring that out. 🙂