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LGBT Trade Show and Job Fair - North Texas Bridge Foundation

Organized by: Kevin Smith

Kevin's Photo
Kevin's Photo
Kevin's Photo

EVENT DATE Nov 15, 2014

THE STORY:

How do you really feel?

In America, we’re witness to a historic shift in our perceptions of each other and ourselves. Advocates for LGBT rights are making significant progress in their efforts to promote equality and inclusion. Still, words like lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered (LGBT) often stir strong emotions, and in too many places – and for too many in the LGBT community – a great divide continues to erode their quality of life; so, how do you really feel?

It’s socially desirable to advocate for people who are LGBT, but just because we want to be perceived as being on the “right side of history” doesn’t necessarily mean that old stigmas and stereotypes are gone.

Did you know that LGBT youth are more than twice as likely to have attempted suicide as their heterosexual peers?[1]

And, a 2009 survey of more than 7,000 LGBT young people revealed that in the year prior to the survey 8 of 10 had been verbally harassed at school; 4 of 10 had been physically harassed at school; 6 of 10 felt unsafe at school and 1 in 5 had been physically assaulted while at school—all because of who they are.[2]

A stake in the ground

BridgeFest 2014 is an undertaking of the newly organized North Texas Bridge Foundation (NTXBF), a Dallas-area group of straight and gay people that envisions an impact without borders—a true grassroots movement with unlimited outreach.

On November 15, in Irving, Texas, BridgeFest will unite people and businesses as our stake in the ground. Our goal is to send a message of inclusion that clearly states we are better people, better workers and a better country when we join hands to eliminate all obstacles to full participation, full equality and full protection for all LGBT people.

At the daylong event, LGBT-owned and LGBT-friendly businesses and service providers will gather at the Irving Convention Center, joining with the LGBT community and its allies, in a show of solidarity and support to help deliver our message of inclusion.

In addition to businesses that will showcase products and services, we are also planning a dynamic roster of speakers addressing a range of topics that affect the LGBT community. We hope to have some big surprises to announce, including participation from key political candidates, so keep visiting the BridgeFest website for new announcements.

Help us make a ‘splash’

Every journey begins with a single step. BridgeFest is our first step; and, like a toddler learning to walk, we also need some help.

We have set a modest goal of raising $25,000 through donations from this website. The funds will go directly toward costs to produce BridgeFest.

All donations are received with gratitude, and donations of $25, or more, qualify for a BridgeFest T-shirt and two complimentary passes for the November 15 event. NTXBF, the event organizer, has filed its application for 501(c)(3), non-profit status with the State Attorney General’s office in Texas. We are adding our voice as an advocate for all LGBT people in their pursuit of equality, safety and inclusion.

Your generosity will help support BridgeFest and the NTXBF organization. Should we surpass our fundraising goal, surplus funds will be used to help build the North Texas Bridge Foundation as a clearinghouse for information and to help support LGBT people, their friends and families, wherever they are.

One day, the chasm between straight and LGBT communities will no longer exist, but we cannot wait for the inevitable evolution to take hold; we must take action now. Please consider helping us with your donation, and let’s all turn our eyes toward that great divide and begin to build bridges.

 

[1] Russell ST, Joyner K. Adolescent sexual orientation and suicide risk: Evidence from a national study. American Journal of Public Health 2001; 91:1276-1281.

[2] Kosciw JG, et al. the 2009 National School Climate Survey: The Experiences of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Youth in Our Nation’s Schools. New York: Gay, Lesbian Straight Education Network; 2010.

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