Get Yourself to Oakland for Butch Voices

The third biennial national Butch Voices is barely more than a month away.

I’d like to recommend that you clear your calendar, make your reservations, and get yourself to Oakland.*


Cherríe Moraga (l) and Jay Toole (r) are keyote speakers

While I didn’t have the honor of attending last year, the first biennial conference – which I attended four years ago – was a memorable weekend. If you’re on the fence about going, you can read my posts about it here, and I’m sure you’ll register online as soon as you’re done.

Cherríe Moraga, faculty member and Artist-in-Residence at Stanford University, and Jay Toole, Co-founder and Shelter Director at Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ) will deliver the keynote speeches at the event, which will take place at the Oakland Marriott City Center.

Moraga, a playwright, poet, and essayist has received national recognition, including a TCG Theatre Artist Residency Grant, the NEA’s Theatre Playwrights’ Fellowship, and two Fund for New American Plays Awards. In 2007, she was awarded the United States Artist Rockefeller Fellowship for Literature. In June she was honored with the Lambda Literary Foundation’s Pioneer Award at the 25th Annual Lambda Literary Awards in New York City.

Jay Toole was thrown out of her home at age 13 and spent her early adulthood homeless, sleeping on park benches and navigating the New York City homeless shelter system.The support she received from queer individuals helped her overcome drug and alcohol addiction and move beyond homelessness. Inspired by these support systems, Toole became a Co-founder and Shelter Director at the Queers for Economic Justice (QEJ), a progressive, non-profit organization committed to promoting economic justice in a context of sexual and gender liberation.

Butch Voices expects more than 300 attendees for this year’s conference.  You can register online at

*If you’re not already here, and it seems that many of the Left Coast’s lesbians already are.

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