MeTooLGBTQ FAQ’s

History of #MeTooLGBTQ and the LGBTQ+ Survivor Task Force

The MeTooLGBTQ Conference grew out of a Survivor Task Force founded by LGBTQ+ survivors, determined to help bridge the gaps in services and barriers to care faced by LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence. 

Founders of the Survivor Task Force include Liat Wexler, Walter Castaneda, Christopher Sheehan, and Fernando Lopez. These non-binary individuals and cisgender men had the shared experience not only of being survivors of sexual and relationship violence but also of being turned away or treated inappropriately by services for survivors. As GBTQ+ people, they recognized that the services for survivors of sexual and relationship violence were overwhelmingly set up to serve cisgender, heterosexual women, and too often failed to appropriately serve LGBTQ+ folks.

These survivors connected with local San Diego agencies and organizations, including Center for Community Solutions, The San Diego LGBT Community Center, and North County Lifeline, to begin the conversation about building a path forward to ensure better care for LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence.

FAQs: MeTooLGBTQ Conference

What Time zone is the conference in?

PDT (Pacific Daylight Time)

Why #MeTooLGBTQ?

The MeTooLGBTQ Conference grew out of a Survivor Task Force founded by LGBTQ+ survivors, determined to help bridge the gaps in services and barriers to care faced by LGBTQ+ survivors of sexual and relationship violence. The conference is the primary project of the task force, and takes its name from the viral 2017 #MeToo hashtag, which traces its roots to Tarana Burke’s Me Too movement launched in 2006. 

While Tarana Burke intended the Me Too movement to be inclusive of and, indeed, center BIPOC folks and LGBTQ+ survivors, as the hashtag became mainstream, the narratives of LGBTQ+ survivors were marginalized. Crisis intervention and long-term support services for LGBTQ+ survivors that were set up to serve cisgender, heterosexual women were not equipped or trained to affirm or support LGBTQ+ survivors of any gender. 

#MeTooLGBTQ centers the narratives and experiences of LGBTQ+ survivors.

Why is this an issue?

Nationwide, approximately 4 out of 10 gay men (40.2%) and half of bisexual men (47.4%) have experienced sexual violence besides rape at some point in their lives, compared to 1 in 5 heterosexual men (20.8%). A large majority (61%) of bisexual women and 44% of lesbians have experienced rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner, compared to 35% of heterosexual women. 47% of our transgender siblings experience sexual assault in their lifetime, and the American Academy of Pediatrics has identified gender nonconformity as a risk factor for childhood sexual abuse or rape.

This is only a surface-level overview of a community that is underrepresented and sometimes misrepresented in research. Given what we know about under-reporting and the often limited definitions of “sexual violence” in research, we as a committee assume the real numbers to be higher than those reported above. 

What is the goal of the conference?

The goal of the #MeTooLGBTQ conference is to increase culturally competent services for victims/survivors of sexual violence and relationship violence that identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer and to create space for LGBTQ+ survivors to connect with each other and community resources. This conference and the LGBTQ+ Survivor Task Force are committed to bridging the gaps between the LGBTQIA+ communities and spaces of healing and care for survivors of sexual violence and relationship violence. Creating and informing these spaces where LGBTQ+ survivors will be affirmed and supported is one step in a long journey to end sexual and relationship violence. This three-day conference is the only conference of its kind in the country outside of higher education settings.

The 2020 conference theme of “Queer Resilience is Resistance” focuses on resiliency and thriving, centering intersectional identities and approaches.

Who is currently on the LGBTQ+ Survivor Task Force and conference planning committee?

Currently, the active members of the Task Force and planning committee include representatives from the following organizations: 

I’d love to be part of this! How do I get involved?

We’d love to have you join us, either as an individual or as an organization! If you’d like to join the LGBTQ+ Survivor Task Force and conference planning committee, please email [email protected] and one of our planning committee members will connect with you.