Monthly Archives: February 2013

Live Science Interviews Dr. Sheff for Article on Polyamory

The author of this article in Live Science interviewed me so long ago I had forgotten about it, and it took another colleague drawing the article to my attention for me to remember that we had had the conversation. I really like where she went with it!


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International Academic Polyamory Conference in Berkeley this weekend 2/15 – 17/2013

This coming weekend scholars from around the world will present at the first International Academic Polyamory Conference in Berkeley, California, USA. The conference opens Friday night at 5:30 with Psychological and Mental Health Presentations from Deborah Anapol, Kathy Labriola, and Karen Haas. I will appear remotely from my home in Atlanta on Friday night at  7:45 PST, presenting on The Status of Children in Polyamorous Families.

Saturday is another full day of conferencing, with presentations centering on Academic Research by such esteemed scholars as Dave Doleshal, Maria Pallotta-Chiarolli, Christine Campbell, Nathan Rambukkana, Corey Keith, Sandra Peace, Antonia Levy, Marianne Pieper, Hadar Aviram, and Miriam Katz.

Sunday closes out the conference with two simultaneous tracks. One focuses on Public Education and Experience with presentations by Heidi Paugh, Kirsten Rose, Yogi Ramadin, Michael McDonald, Gloria Park, Meriana Dinkova, Keith Brown, Lenel de Emma, Dawn Davidson, Silvano Colombano, Karen Haas, Dane Ballard, and Laird Harrison. The second concurrent session on Sunday focuses on Political Issues and Activism with presentations by Dave Doleshal, Reid Mihalko, Joy Brooke Fairfiled, Pepper Mint, Emmi Bevensee, Barbara Berwick, and Ricci Levy.

There are still tickets available to attend the conference if you are in the Bay Area. You can find the events schedule at

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National Gay and Lesbian Task Force Creating Change Conference

Recently I was fortunate enough to attend the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force’s (NGLTF) annual Creating Change conference in Atlanta. The extensive conference offerings covered five days, beginning with a full-day Racial Justice Institute and then expanding into a multitude of panels, workshops, trainings, and plenaries on the range of social issues that intersect with LGBTQ interests. While many organizations give lip-serice to diversity, the NGLTF is impressive in its willingness and ability to actually address and include issues of diversity in the programming and have a diverse range of people leading the organization. From the conference attendees to the presenters and organizers, Creating Change was a blizzard of ages, abilities, races, ethnicities, sexualities, gender presentations, and nationalities.

This pervasive diversity led to very interesting sessions, such as one the plenaries that honored the delegation of 20 queer youth organizers from China, recognized Race Bannon for lifetime service to the BDSM community, and ended with a debate on immigration among a panel of Latin@ immigration activists. In sharp contrast with more mainstream gay and lesbian organizations like the Human Rights Commission, the NGLTF embraces the true intersectionality of queer populations across race, age, class, (dis)ability, gender presentation, and relationship style. Rather than further marginalizing white gay men from access to conventional social power as some movement organizers feared, embracing diversity has made NGLTF relevant to the breadth of the movement’s social and political issues. This importance was clearly evident among the prestigious presenters and panelists. President Obama even addressed the conference with a recorded message recognizing the contributions, strides, and challenges of LGBTQ communities, reinforcing the President’s mention of the Stonewall riot during his acceptance speech for his second term in office. Kate Clinton, emcee and mistress of ceremonies, quipped that it was great to get a recorded message and a nod in the speech, but next year he really should send Michelle.

If you are interested in human rights, social justice, activism, and diversity, I strongly encourage you to attend a Creating Change conference. Having attended many, many conferences and conventions, I can say without hesitation that Creating Change stands out as singularly impressive in its breadth and depth. Next year in Houston…

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