Agenda – 2020 International LGBTQ Leaders Conference

The 37th International LGBTQ Leaders Conference was held virtually, December 3-5, 2020.

Thursday, December 3

Coffee Networking Hour
10:00 AM – 11:00 AM 


VCI Coffee Hour Invite Only
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 


Elected Officials Summit Invite Only
11:00 AM – 1:45 PM
Sponsored by Moody’s Analytics, Moody’s Investors Service, and State Farm Insurance Company 


Victory Congressional Internship Reunion Invite Only
12:00 PM – 1:45 PM 


State of Victory
2:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Remarks by Mayor Annise Parker on the current state of LGBTQ representation at every level of government.  


Plenary #1: The 2020 Rainbow Wave and Its Impact
3:00 PM –4:00 PM 
Sponsored by Comcast and Chevron

An unprecedented number of LGBTQ people ran for office in 2020 – a dramatic 41 percent increase since the midterm elections in 2018 – setting the stage for a Rainbow Wave of new LGBTQ elected officials in 2020. The surge in LGBTQ candidates brought with it a flood of anti-LGBTQ campaign tactics, raising fears it may discourage LGBTQ people from running for office in the future. Despite the attacks, LGBTQ people won historic races and America will have more LGBTQ voices in government than ever before next year. Join us as we celebrate the people who helped build LGBTQ political power in 2020 and discuss the impact of this election cycle on LGBTQ campaigning and policymaking in the years ahead.

Speakers: Todd Gloria, Kim Jackson and Sarah McBride
Moderator: Kate Sosin

Tammy Baldwin Breakthrough Award

Presenter: Senator Tammy Baldwin
Award Recipient: Pennsylvania State Representative Malcolm Kenyatta

4:00 PM – 5:00 PM 

1a: Only the Beginning: Climate Change and Its Effects
Sponsored by Toyota, Sempra Energy and Uber 

The extensive fires on the West coast, epic flooding in the Midwest, and stronger than ever tropical storms and hurricanes in the American South all point to one frightening reality: climate change is here. In the United States, natural disasters are endangering livelihoods, increasing inequality and affecting our most basic protections. Around the world, it is pushing countries to the brink of collapse and fueling a growing wave of climate refugees in regions like Central America. Join LGBTQ elected officials and experts as we discuss the local, state, federal and global policy and legislative solutions that could minimize the impact of climate change and start to address the inequalities created by it.

Speakers: Evan Low, Rebecca Kling, David Absher, Stephen Lewis
Moderator: Park Cannon

1b: Power in State Legislatures: Our Growing Numbers
Sponsored by AIG, Altria, Cox Communications, Sempra Energy and Union Pacific 

State legislatures—the laboratories of democracy—remain both places of opportunity and discrimination for LGBTQ people. Hundreds of anti-LGBTQ bills were introduced in hostile state legislatures in recent years, while progressive state legislatures are leading the way in LGBTQ rights and inclusion. Despite elections in only a few state legislatures in November 2019, the number of openly LGBTQ state legislators increased by nine percent between June 2019 and June 2020. With new election data from the November 2020 elections, join us as we discuss how critical it is to have LGBTQ voices in state legislatures and what we can expect the growing number of LGBTQ state legislators to accomplish.

Speakers: Brian Sims, Jabari Brisport, Kay Floyd, Dallas Harris, Sam Park, David Black, George Shevlin

1c: LGBTQ Rights and U.S. Foreign Policy: A Need to Lead (Global)
Sponsored by Ross LaJeunesse & Patrick Oathout 

Nine years after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton declared “LGBT rights are human rights,” the U.S. continues to lag behind other democratic countries in placing LGBTQ equality at the core of its foreign policy. Sexual and reproductive rights and LGBTQ equality have increasingly become an international ideological battleground, with the United States ending mixed messages, at best. Join foreign policy experts as we discuss the current state of U.S. foreign policy as it relates to LGBTQ equality and the degree to which the U.S. should make equality a centerpiece of its global strategy.

Speakers: Claudia Lopez, Ross Lajeunesse, Wally Brewster, Javier Corrales, Margarita Salas, Paula Uribe

State Legislators Networking Invite Only
5:00 PM – 5:45 PM
Sponsored by Molson Coors 

Together we will celebrate the historic number of LGBTQ state legislators elected this cycle and welcome the newest members! During this virtual networking event, we aim to deepen the relationships among LGBTQ state legislators across the United States by exchanging ideas and sharing the opportunities and challenges that will be faced in state legislative sessions beginning in 2021. State legislators will also have the opportunity to join breakout sessions where they can meet their colleagues on a more personal level – perhaps with a drink in hand.  


VIP Gathering – Leading in Color
6:00 PM – 6:30 PM 

Leading in Color 
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Sponsored by Amazon, Molson Coors, Union Pacific, and Wells Fargo 

Join us for the evening to showcase and celebrate the LGBTQ elected officials of colors serving nationwide. Leading in Color is an opportunity to engage with LGBTQ leaders of color who make up 20 percent of all LGBTQ elected officials serving our country, as well as network with Victory Institute’s supporters. Over a dozen out elected officials and 200 community members, donors, influencers and allies from across the country are expected to attend. 

Friday, December 4

Victory Board Meeting Closed Door
11:00 AM – 5:00 PM 


Corporate Appreciation Breakfast Invite Only
10:30 AM – 11:30 A


Coffee Networking Hour
11:00 AM – 12:00 PM 


Plenary #2Ten Years Later: The Repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”
12:00 PM – 1:30 PM
Sponsored by The Tawani Foundation on behalf of Pritzker Military Museum & Library

LGBTQ History Maker Award Presentation

Award Recipient: Nancy Pelosi
Speakers and Presenters: Joe Biden, Patrick Murphy, Jennifer Pritzker, Pete Buttigieg, Barney Frank, Tim Gunn, Gina Ortiz Jones, Annise Parker, Mark Takano, Tiffany Mueller, Joe Kennedy, Cyndi Lauper, Jason Mida, Claire Lucas

From 1994 until its repeal under the administration of President Barack Obama, tens of thousands of LGBTQ members of the military were forced to live in the closet or face discharge because of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.” Ten years after the repeal of this policy, we speak with the lawmakers, activists and brave servicemembers who worked to ensure that LGBTQ could serve out and proud. Panelists will provide a behind-the-scenes look at the repeal of the law, the impact it had on servicemembers and veterans, and how LGBTQ people serving openly is affecting the military and U.S. society at-large.

Speakers: Aaron Belkin, Valerie Jarrett, Michael Mullen
Moderator: Jonathan Capehart

Afternoon Coffee Networking
1:30 PM – 2:00 PM 


Plenary #3: Challenging Democracies: The Pandemic and Its Influence on Human Rights 
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM
Sponsored by Pfizer and PhRMA 

The COVID-19 pandemic shook the world, leading to an increase in already enormous inequality gaps in health care access and increasing political and social unrest in the U.S. and abroad. With economies struggling, overloaded health care systems, and strict lockdowns exacerbating societal tensions, there have been attempts to spread misinformation about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines in the pipeline and attempts by elected officials to threaten democratic institutions and hard-fought victories in LGBTQ equality. Join us as LGBTQ elected officials from around the world discuss these worrying trends and how we can combat COVID-19 misinformation and the weaponization of the pandemic to weaken rights and protections.

Speakers: David Cicilline, Alberto de Belaunde, Fabio Felix, Rachel Levine
Moderator: Marc Berthold

LGBTQ Victory Institute Global Trailblazer Award Presentation

Award Recipient: Ana Lucía Riojas Martínez
Presenter: Alberto de Belaunde

3:00 PM – 4:00 PM 

2a: Drawing the Lines: Redistricting and the Census 

Every 10 years, local and state governments use new census data to draw districts that can predetermine political fates for the following decade. In 2021, for the first time, same-sex marriage data will be available for the full country and open up opportunities to better design and draw districts that are centered around LGBTQ people. This alone can lead to more LGBTQ elected officeholders who can better serve the community. From past successes in California, learn how LGBTQ leaders can influence the redistricting process and ensure LGBTQ voices are represented in government.

Speakers: Nickie Antonio, Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, Paul Mitchell, Danica Roem
Moderator: Tony Hoang

2b: Queering the Courts
Sponsored by End Citizens United 

Donald Trump has appointed an unprecedented number of judges – more than 200 – and a significant majority are opposed to equality for LGBTQ people. Without strong LGBTQ representation in the courts and the support of allied judges, this conservative shift threatens LGBTQ rights. With only 110 openly LGBTQ judges in elected office, judgeships are far from equitable. Join us as we discuss how to queer the courts with greater representation and what we can do to counteract the new more socially conservative justices across the country.

Speakers: Kris Hayaski, Kevin Jennings, Sara Martinez
Moderator: Kate Kendall

2c: Social Media: National Security Risk or a Tool for Democracy?

Our social media apps know more about us than ourselves: the food we crave and when, the people we feel attracted to, the clothes we want to buy, and even the type of cat videos we are obsessed with. During the last few months, the U.S. government, among others, has raised concerns about alleged national security risks associated with this data collection from apps owned by companies based in China, Russia, and other totalitarian regimes. Simultaneously, social media has helped organize the movements to fight for democracy, and several civil demonstrations would not have happened without the help of social media apps. Join experts on technology and democracy to discuss how users benefit from the connectivity that the apps bring to organize civil society movements as well as who collects our data, and with what purpose.

Tamara Adrián, Allison Funk, Jack Harrison-Quintana, Teddy Wilhite

VIP Gathering – Women Out to Win 
6:00 PM – 6:30 PM 

 Women Out to Win 
6:30 PM – 7:30 PM
Sponsored by Molson Coors 

 We’re thrilled to celebrate our Out Women elected officials serving nationwide.  Women Out to Win is an opportunity to engage with LGBTQ women leaders who make up 40 percent of all LGBTQ elected officials serving our country. Out women are leading the fight for equality and justice, so let’s come together to celebrate their leadership, service, and most importantly, their voices! 

Saturday, December 5

Coffee Networking Hour
11:00 AM – 12:0PM 


Plenary #4A Pandemic of Racism: The Path Forward for Racial Justice in America
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM
Sponsored by Dow and Genentech 

As America attempted to confront the COVID-19 pandemic, a second more insidious pandemic of racism and police violence captured the nation’s attention with the murder of George Floyd. Because of systemic racism, these twin pandemics disproportionately impact people of color, leading to deep hardships as the failures of the economy and our healthcare system come to the forefront. Join LGBTQ elected officials who are working to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the pandemic of racism as they discuss how we can address racial equity in America – both in the immediate term and into the future.

Speakers: Leslie Herod, Andrea Jenkins, Malcolm Kenyatta, Lori Lightfoot, Brian Maloney, Alexander Papstrat
Moderator: Emil Wilbekin


1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Sponsored by ActBlue 

 Despite LGBTQ people making up at least 4.5 percent of the U.S. population, we hold just 0.2 percent of elected positions nationwide, and that underrepresentation has enormous effects on policy and legislation. More LGBTQ people must run for office – and why not you? Join our Victory Empowerment Fellows and experts at the Campaign Workshop to learn how to take the first steps to run for office, including questions to ask yourself and how to build a network of supporters. Whether you’re interested in volunteering or managing a campaign, or want to be the candidate, you’ll walk away with the scaffolding necessary to build a successful campaign.  


Workshop: Presidential Appointments Initiative
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM 
Sponsored by Pfizer 

The Presidential Appointments Initiative works with LGBTQ leaders and pro-equality presidential administrations to ensure LGBTQ people are included in government. When LGBTQ presidential appointees are empowered, they can significantly influence the policies and direction of agencies and the executive branch to make positive change for LGBTQ people. Join Victory for an in-depth overview and training for what 2021 and beyond looks to have more LGBTQ leaders in a Presidential Administration.