QT-Con Focuses on Queer/Trans Connection, Knowledge, and Joy

QT Con. A Queer/Trans Conference over a gradient rainbow triangle.QT-Con is a new conference at Miami University focusing on queer and trans research, creative works, and passion projects.

The three day conference, held November 14-16, will feature virtual and in-person conference-style mini sessions, late night events, and community building. The goal is to share knowledge, build connections, and spark energy and joy.

“In a university setting we often focus on academic knowledge, which is hugely important,” said April Callis, associate director of LGBTQ+ initiatives. “However, lived experience, creative expression, and passion projects are also worthy forms of knowledge, and QT-Con allows us to bring all of this together. It's a celebration of queer joy, queer knowledge, and queer resilience.”

A quick review of the QT-Con schedule reveals an expansive variety of sessions. From the academic and research-focused (e.g. Nonbinary community: A photovoice study) to the dissection of media representation (e.g. Space husbands: What we can learn from Kirk/Spock fanfiction) to stories of lived experience (e.g. The lavender hour: Coming to terms with my death), participants have plenty of options for how they will engage.

Collaborative and Student Driven

The conference is a primary partnership between Miami’s Center for Student Diversity and Inclusion and the Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies program through Dr. Kenna Neitch’s WGS 401 capstone course. “These students approached QT-Con as a gift to other students and to all generations of queer communities in the area,” Neitch said. Several other student and community groups and academic partners are also sponsoring the event.

Conference planning has been led with student input and involvement in every stage, from selecting proposals to determining the schedule to media and promotions. Students led the charge to expand the goal of sparking energy and joy to include a fashion and drag show, a photo booth, and giveaways. Some students are presenting sessions; others are serving as session moderators.

“We want QT-Con to be a spark for people,” continued Callis. “DEI work can be overwhelming. Holding LGBTQIA+ identities can sometimes be exhausting. So we want this event to rejuvenate people, and to remind them of the joy that exists within our community.”

Attend QT-Con

The conference is free and open to anyone. There is no registration process, and people are able to drop by for one event, or for multiple. For more information and the full schedule of events, follow @MU_QTCon on Instagram.