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Tue Feb 12, 2019, 04:03 AM

Anti-Semitism Is Becoming More Brazen, Including in LGBTQ Spaces

The Creating Change conference has a special place in my heart. Presented by the National LGBTQ Task Force, Creating Change is the largest annual gathering of LGBTQ activists, leaders, and organizers in the country. Itís a space where LGBTQ people can rejoice in our common identities, celebrate our diversity, find refuge from the homophobia, biphobia, and transphobia of the world, strategize with and learn from each other, and recharge ourselves to continue the fight for equality. Creating Change is a place that nourishes the soul, and Iíve loved it ever since I attended my first conference many years ago.

Thatís why it so deeply hurt my heart to see this yearís Creating Change conference being hijacked by anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism.

On Thursday, January 24 in Detroit, a group of disruptors stormed the stage at Creating Change during the opening plenary and held it for 15 uninterrupted minutes, voicing anti-Semitic tropes and chanting ďfrom the river to the Sea, Palestine will be free,Ē a dog whistle calling for the elimination of the Jewish state. And sadly, this isnít even the first time that this happened: at the 2016 Creating Change conference in Chicago, protestors chanting the same hateful, anti-Semitic things shut down a reception hosted by the LGBTQ pro-Israel organization A Wider Bridge. In both cases the Task Force made no effort to stop the protests, push back on the dangerous falsehoods being spread by the protesters, sufficiently acknowledge the pain and breach of safety that they caused for many Jewish LGBTQ attendees and their allies, or take meaningful steps to prevent such incidents from happening again.

It hurts to see this conference, which strives to be welcoming to all members of our LGBTQ community, look the other way at prejudice against certain members of our community.

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