Gay minorities are organizing

Published: February 3, 2011

Kevin Xiong of St. Paul helped found the first and only organization in the world of Hmong gay, lesbian bisexual and transgender people.

Faisal Alam of Atlanta, Ga., started the first Muslim GLBT group in the United States.

They are among a large group of racial and ethnic minorities with prominent roles in a national GLBT conference in Minneapolis this week. The "Creating Change" conference has attracted 2,500 to 3,000 people from throughout the country.

Traditionally hidden and often marginalized within their own cultures, GLBT minorities are becoming more organized and are working to gain greater acceptance, leaders say. The minorities include Indians, Hispanics and blacks. There will be Muslim prayers and a Jewish Shabat service on Friday.

"In our LGBT community, we have always said we are everywhere," said Sue Hyde, the conference director. "But we have not always organized everywhere we live, and that is changing."

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