Three Takeaways from the 2019 Keystone Conference for NGLCC’s Trans+ Task Force

As a member of the NGLCC Supplier Diversity team and the main point of contact for nglccNY suppliers, I’m lucky to interact with hundreds of Certified LGBTBE® suppliers dedicated to expanding their businesses and to shape new content for our Certified LGBTBE® suppliers as NGLCC continues to grow.

NGLCC’s Trans+ Inclusion Task Force initiative has been a key point of growth for our supplier diversity program over the last year and as a result, NGLCC recently joined the Keystone Conference, one of the largest gatherings of trans people in the United States, as a Gold Level Sponsor. NGLCC is honored to have been a supporter of one of the largest trans-inclusion conferences, and I was thrilled to serve as an NGLCC representative at the conference.

The Keystone Conference is comprised of four days of workshops, seminars and meaningful connections, and the atmosphere at the Keystone Conference is unmatched in its ability to create a space to celebrate true gender diversity. As it reached its 11th year, conference attendance was just around 750, with attendees from all parts of the country and around the world.

I was thrilled to listen to and learn from the rich community of transgender and non-binary individuals that attended the conference. I walked away from my experience with three key takeaways:

  1. We at NGLCC see you. “Diversity is being invited to the party; inclusion is being asked to dance.” As NGLCC continues to expand our mission of economic empowerment for all LGBT people, we hear and see the immense power of the transgender community and its interest in economic empowerment for its members. NGLCC wants to give the trans business community a seat at the table by ensuring they are actively represented in all of our work with the economic impact data to back it up.
  2. There is no one way to be a trans entrepreneur. The Keystone Conference is known for giving its attendees the space to be their true selves, and individuals from all over the country come together for a few days to live authentically at the conference. Energies were high as people networked without having to fear judgment about their identity or gender expression, and I was able to connect with trans and non-binary entrepreneurs with backgrounds in construction, engineering, law, the arts, and much more.
  3. NGLCC’s support for the trans community is just getting started. As the business voice of the LGBT community, NGLCC always strives to ensure that the transgender community is a part of this growing movement. The NGLCC Trans+ Inclusion Task Force has created a space for trans entrepreneurs to access resources and connect with companies looking to procure goods and services from trans and non-binary business owners, but the sky is the limit for NGLCC to create opportunities for the trans and non-binary business community to continue to grow.

Interested in learning more about how NGLCC can help your trans or non-binary-owned business grow? NGLCC is the exclusive certifying body for businesses that are at least 51% LGBT-owned and -operated. By becoming a Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) with NGLCC, you will be connected to our network of 250 corporate partners and over 1,100 LGBT business owners across the nation and around the world. Please visit our website for information on the process of certification.


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