TEXAS GAY CONFERENCE IN AUSTIN THIS WEEKEND
The Fourth Annual Texas Gay Conference is being held in Austin this weekend, June 18 and 19. Sponsored by the
Texas Gay Task Force, this year's conference will offer awide range of workshops,
speeches by lesbian and gay male leaders,
a business meeting, worship services,
and recreational activities.
Speakers for the conference will be
Ken Cyr and Janna Zumbrun, both Texas
activists, and Bob Kunst, one of the
spokespersons of the Dade County Coalition for the Humanistic Rights of Gays.
Cyr, one of the founders of the Texas
Gay Task Force and presently active with
the Texas Gay Archives in Houston will
deliverthe keynote address at 10 o'clock
Saturday morning to start the conference.
Zumbrun will address the final session
of the conference at ll:30Sunday morning
concerning our needs and goals for the
coming year.Zumbrun serves on the Human
Relations Commission for the City of
Austin, and is active with the Austin
Lesbian Feminist Organization, Texas
'Women's Political Caucus, and the Texas
Gay Task Force.
Kunst 'will speak Saturday evening in
a session open to the general public.
One of the leaders of the Dade County
Coalition, Kunst appeared frequently on
news programs and interview shows during
the Miami campaign representing the Coalition's position before the national
media. He also attempted to debate Anita
Bryant beforethe Miami Kiwanis Club when
she countered with the Battle Hymn
of the Republic rathsr than substantive
The specific time and place of his
address have not been finalized at this
time as his appearance was only recently
arranged through the efforts of the Gay
People of West Texas. The Lubbock group
and the conference committee will make
further announcements when plans are confirmed.
The conference also offers sixteen
workshops exploring the needs, goals,and
experiences of lesbians and gay men.
Scheduled for three separate periods on
Saturday, workshops from which to choose
include topics related to politics, religion, literature, feminism, the media,
community services, and personal relationships.
Three workshops on political involv-
ment have been prepared by Nick Schuler
of San Antonio. The various aspects to
be explored are (l)Gaysin the Political
Arena,(2) Political Organizations in the
Gay Community, and (3) Political Friends
and Enemies of the Gay Community. Those
who have followed the recent session of
the Texas legislature and the Miami campaign will find these encounters helpful
in shaping future political efforts.
Two of the workshops will explore
religious issues. One session will examine the essence of Gay Spirituality and
Gay Theology with a panel made up of the
Reverend Rob Shivers of the Austin MCC,
Chris Broadhurst of Dignity in San Antonio, and Gene Leggett from Gay United
Methodists. The other session will
consider issues that arise between Feminism and the Church. A. K. Campbell,
Nina Wouk,and Reverend Shivers will lead
the latter discussion.
Consideration of the creative aspects
of our culture will be provided in workshops entitled Lesbians and Literature
and Gay Male Poetry. The .first, led by
Diane Draper of Austin, will explore the
treatment of lesbians in literature as
well as the contributions of lesbians to
writing. Randy Conner, a University of
Texas teaching assistant in the English
Department, will lead the workshop that
examines the themes of gay male poetry
in relation to the liberation-movement.
Besides the feminist workshops already mentioned, four other sessions are
planned for lesbians to explore areas of
unique interest to women. There will be
separate "how-to" workshops on Setting
Up a Peer Counseling Ser/ice for Women
and Setting Up a Feminist Bookstore.
The first will be led by Malorie Tolles
who will draw from her experiences with
the Austin Women/Space peer counselling
center. The Common Woman 3ookstore Collective which has been in operation in
Austin for over a year is sponsoring the
Also for women will be a dixcussion
of LesbianParticipation in International
Women's Year which will focus on the
Texas IWY conference the following weekend in Austin andthe national conference
later this year in Houston. Leaders in
the discussion will be Pokey Anderson of
Houston and Nina Wouk and Janna Zumbrun
of Austin. A separate session will be
devotad to devsioping Lesbian Communication Networks so that matters relevant
to the feminist movement can be dissemi=
nated to all who are interested.
Also focusing on communication will
be a workshop on Gay Media by Allen Winter which •-."ill lock at gay access
to the general "straight"media as well as
examine the use and focus of the rapidly
expanding gay media. The session will
begin with an introduction by Winter who
studied both topics as part of his master's thesis in the UT School of Journalism. The session will then proceed -with
a panel discussion then a group dialogue.
Transgenerational Relationships will
be the topic of a workshop led by Jim
Eggling of the For.-ard Foundation of San
Antonio. The session will examine the
difficulties couples encounter when
there is a generations difference in age
accompanied by differing values and experiences that are almost as different
as cross-cultural values and relationships.
Finally, the goals and operation of
Gay Switchboards and Ser/ice Organizations will offer an opportunity for the
volunteers in such groups around the
state to share their experiences and to
help new communities start such groups.
Dan Pickett, Office Coordinator of Austin's Gay Community Services will moderate the session.
After a busy schedule of workshops
and speeches on Saturday, the conference
will focus on worship and recreation on
Sunday.The Metropolitan Community Church
•will conduct services at 9 o'clock in
the University Y auditorium followed by
(continued on page 4)