On the first day of Pride Month, the governor of Florida signed into law a divisive and damaging bill prohibiting transgender athletes from participating in school sports.
In view of this harmful law and ongoing concerns about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the conference, GLMA's leadership has made the decision that its 39th Annual Conference on LGBTQ health will be held virtually from Sept. 22-25, 2021. The conference was originally planned to be held in-person in Florida.
The GLMA Annual Conference strives for "a welcoming environment and safe space for all conference participants, staff, and guests" designed to create a sense of community and empowerment for LGBTQ health professionals. We could not in good conscience ask our conference participants, especially our trans and gender non-conforming colleagues and friends, to subject themselves to the hateful and discriminatory atmosphere created by the state's leaders.
We recognize the tremendous amount of privilege we have to be able to make this decision and that thousands of transgender individuals across Florida, especially trans youth, do not have the same ability. We vow to continue to do all that we can as an organization to use medical science and the expertise of our health professional members to fight this law and ensure policymakers in the state and across the nation prioritize the health and well-being of trans youth and the entire LGBTQ community.
The GLMA Education Committee and Nursing Section leadership are now focusing their efforts on creating high quality and extremely successful virtual programming for the Annual Conference and Nursing Summit for the second consecutive year, while laying the groundwork for a return to an in-person conference in 2022.
GLMA is grateful for the support of our partners in the state, including Equality Florida, the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Westin Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort, and look forward to the day when we can bring our conference back to the state.