Philly gears up for several LGBT conferences

Philly gears up for several LGBT conferences

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Two LGBT organizations planning conventions in Philadelphia were represented at a local business luncheon Tuesday.

PHL Diversity hosted its 11th-annual Business Opportunity Luncheon for professionals to network and learn about new business initiatives for the city. Kim Reed of Reed Development Group moderated a panel with representatives from Health Professionals Advancing LGBT Equality (GLMA), formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Medical Association, and the True Colors Fund.

GLMA Executive Director Hector Vargas and True Colors Fund Executive Director Gregory Lewis answered questions from Reed about their organizations.

GLMA will bring its 35th Annual Conference on LGBT Health Sept. 13-16 to the Doubletree Philadelphia City Center, 237 S. Broad St. During this conference, GLMA will educate health providers and others on the health needs of LGBT people and their families. Additionally, GLMA will report the latest research impacting LGBT health.

Vargas noted this is the first time the organization will host its conference in Philadelphia.

“Philadelphia is a great place for us,” he said. “There’s a very vibrant LGBT community here. There’s a health center that focuses on LGBT health — Mazzoni. There’s a lot going on in the political and advocacy sphere around LGBT health both in Philadelphia and in Pennsylvania.”

Meanwhile, the True Colors Fund will bring its 40 to None Summit to the city in October. No location or exact dates have been finalized by presstime. During this two-day event, individuals addressing LGBT-youth homelessness across the country will meet up for sessions, performances, action-planning breakouts and networking opportunities.

“For us at the True Colors Fund, it’s important to create opportunities for young people to broaden their horizons and understand a world of possibilities,” Lewis said of the organization’s mission. “I will be honest with you, these are the most vibrant, resilient people you will ever meet in your entire life. They will overcome obstacles, and as a result, turn into some of the most incredible adults you will ever want to get to know in this world.”

Both conferences are expected to have a positive economic impact on the city, with Vargas noting the medical conference will bring in $900,000 and Lewis saying the youth event will draw $1 million.

Also coming to the city later this year is the National Lesbian & Gay Journalists Association's convention Sept. 7-10 and Out & Equal Workplace Advocates' Workplace Summit Oct. 9-12. 




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