Information and misinformation about migration and queer issues significantly influence public perceptions and legislative decisions that affect the community at large. Using A Timeline of Queer Migrations and the video documentation of the performance A New Discovery: Queer Immigration In Perspective as a resource, students were exposed to the history and politics of immigration in the United States. Facilitators engaged students in a discussion about the intersections between migrant and queer lives to highlight the challenges faced by queer people today.
By working in groups students used A Timeline of Queer Migrations to learn about specific state policies that have shaped the United States through explicit racial and medical exclusions. Students discussed how medical exclusions such as the HIV Travel Ban denied the entry of certain types of people. This specific exclusion was the entry point to consider the contributions of AIDS Activism to the United States. Guest speakers shared their experiences as artists, activists, and undocumented immigrants.
The workshop also featured an interactive conversation around sex education, including ways that different bodies can experience safer and pleasurable sex. Students looked at the ways in which different forms of sex can make bodies more or less vulnerable to different STD/STIs, and were provided with resources to demonstrate what sorts of tools are available for prevention.
QUEEROCRACY members spoke about HIV criminalization, and presented documentations of QUEEROCRACY’s recent protests as part of the international AIDS conference in Washington DC. Students were provided with an action planning checklist that covered the basics of how to organize a political action, and directed students to other resources on the issues covered in the workshop, including HIV criminalization, undocumented youth and the DREAM act.