Academics gather for language conference

Lisa Neff, Staff writer

Academics from around the world assembled in Washington, D.C., in mid-April to take up topics on the importance of being gay and understanding queer space and speech.

The Lavender Languages and Linguistics Conference, the longest-running LGBT-studies conference in North America, and the Reinstating Transgression Conference took place April 16-18 at American University.

The language conference, founded in 1993 and first held to coincide with a march on Washington for LGBT equality, is literally an alternative event this year, held just days after an Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting exploring geography and human rights that largely ignored queer concerns, according to LLLC organizer and AU anthropologist William Leap, author of “Out in Public: Lesbian and Gay Anthropology in a Globalizing World.”

Academics explored:

  • “How gender and sexuality categories infuse worshipping spaces.”
  • “Mmmmm…so FIERCE – online gay-speak.”
  • “A look at the Fracophone gay press.”

“Language, masculinity and the bear community.”

“A critical look at Western ways of positioning Eastern sexuality at a gay brunch.”

Those were the topics on Day 1, before lunch.

Other programs over the weekend explored:

  • “The truth claim of coming out.”
  • “Gay men as sex objects, social outcasts and degenerates.”
  • “Sounding gay and hearing gay.”