Rural & Small Town LGBTQ Community Comes Together During Three-Day Summit in Southern Vermont
Brattleboro, Vermont – November 9-11th, an anticipated 75 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people living in small towns and rural communities from around the Northeast will gather for the fourth annual Out in the Open Summit for rural & small town LGBTQ folks.
Out in the Open is convened by Brattleboro, Vermont-based Green Mountain Crossroads (GMC), whose mission is to connect rural LGBTQ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power. Summit attendance is open to any LGBTQ-identified person of rural and/or small town experience. People attended the 2017 event from communities near and far including: California, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York.
“We’re making some exciting changes during our fourth round this year. We’re thrilled to be adding full- and half-day Friday Field Trips to the Summit programming in 2018” said HB Lozito, Executive Director of GMC. “These Field Trips are a way for attendees to get to know a smaller group of summit participants before joining with the whole group on Saturday, to dig in deeply to a single topic, and to experience and support some local Brattleboro organizing.”
Some truly phenomenal presenters will be leading Field Trips this year including: Rachel Garringer, founder and creator of Country Queers, an oral history project exploring intersecting identities of rural LGBTQ people; Lily Joslin, an incredible butcher and food educator, leading a home-scale nose-to-tail pig butchery session; Jonah Mossberg, farmer at Milkweed Farm and the filmmaker behind Out Here: Queer Farmer Film Project”; Nico Amador and Ashley Sawyer of the Vermont ACLU’s Smart Justice Campaign; and collective members from Brattleboro’s The Root Social Justice Center, a POC-led and centered space in Southern Vermont growing the movement for racial justice.
“GMC is thrilled to build on the success of last year’s event, in collaboration with our planning committee, on an expanded three-day Summit this year” said Lozito. “All too often, LGBTQ spaces have a focus on urban communities. Likewise, during rural gatherings LGBTQ topics are usually noticeably absent. It is a rare and powerful opportunity to gather with this many rural & small town LGBTQ people who can nod in that knowing way when someone talks about their experience of being queer in the country.”
“The summit is participatory, with no presenters or ‘experts.’ Rather, we convene this gathering with the understanding that our daily experiences living, working, and organizing as rural and small town LGBTQ people make each of us an expert.This year attendees will explore four themes through different discussion-based and hands-on sessions: Food & Farming Justice; Art & Expression; Collective Liberation & Resistance; and Intimacy, Relationships, & Self-Care (ages 18+). These sessions will be held by facilitators but it’s up to the participants in those spaces to discuss and strategize about how each issue comes up in their lives and intersects with their LGBTQ identities.”
A full schedule of events, much more info, and registration (required) is available at https://www.greenmountaincrossroads.org/2018-summit.
This year’s Summit is made possible, in part, with support from the Samara Fund of the Vermont Community Foundation, Borealis Philanthropy’s Fund for Trans Generations, Funding Queerly, Trans Justice Funding Project, and many individuals who support our work with their time and dollars throughout the year.
GREEN MOUNTAIN CROSSROADS:
Green Mountain Crossroads (GMC) connects rural LGBTQ people to build community, visibility, knowledge, and power through social events, support groups, political education workshops, and multi-media outreach projects. GMC lifts up and centers the voices and experiences of rural LGBTQ people at popular events like Pride Family BBQ; Rural Racial Justice Study Group; Out in the Open Summit, and Trans Femme Chill Club. We believe that collective liberation for all people is possible and that rural LGBTQ people play a critical role in the movement toward justice. More information at: greenmountaincrossroads.org
HB Lozito, Executive Director
Green Mountain Crossroads