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Lala Meeting
Chinese LBT Youth Showcases Collective Power — 2009 “Lala Camp” A Resounding Success

in CHINA, 01/12/2009

On November 20th—22nd , the 3rd annual Lala Camp took place in the beautiful city of Guilin in Southern China. “Lala” is a local identity embraced by Chinese-speaking communities, used here as an umbrella term to include lesbians, bisexual women, and women-loving transgender people (LBTs).

Organized by Chinese Lala Alliance (CLA), Lala Camp gathered over 50 lesbian, bisexual and transgender youth organizers representing 20 Lala organizations from 21 cities across Mainland China, as well as Taiwan, Hong Kong, and the U.S. Through two and a half days of intensive training, conference participants developed skills, shared experiences, and affirmed their commitment to lala activism.
 

Youth Can Change the World
With a focus on the 2009 theme of “Youth Power,” attendees explored their identities and expanded their understandings of LBT communities. Furthermore, they learned valuable organizational skills from experienced organizers and found inspiration and support from fellow activists. Workshop contents included: “Gender and Sexual Diversity”, “Youth Speaks: Our Own Stories”, “LGBT Movements Around the World”, “Showcasing Lala Youth Activism”, “Democratic Decision-Making and Meeting Facilitation”, “Shattering Myths and Stereotypes”, “Sex Education”, “Media Production”, “How to Organize on Campuses and in Communities”, and “Putting Skills to Practice: Future Plans.” A choice of parallel workshops was offered in order to meet varying needs, and small group discussions and interactive styles further improved the workshops’ effectiveness.

Focused Training Cultivates Core Leaders
Lala Camp aims to cultivate leaders, fosters grassroots organizations, and promotes cross-regional collaborations. Lala Camp 2007 marked the first-ever cross-regional leadership training for lalas, inspiring many attendees to found community-based groups in various Chinese cities. Lala Camp 2008 • Lalas Connect was held in five different cities in Mainland China, in order to cater to local needs and build the capacity of the existing local organizations. In 2009, Lala Camp • Youth Power specifically targets young leaders who represent the future of the movement. Building upon previous years, the narrowed focus recognizes the unique needs of youth within lala communities.


Annual Camp Fuels Chinese Lala Movement


Founded at the final summit of Lala Camp 2008, Chinese Lala Alliance (CLA) inherited the task of organizing annual Lala Camps. Chinese Lala Alliance has also spearheaded a multi-regional project, “Rainbow Flash,” where many local groups participated in coordinated public actions. In addition, Chinese Lala Alliance sponsored a number of lala activists from Mainland China and Taiwan to attend the 2008 LGBT Pride Parade in Hong Kong. In the future, Chinese Lala Alliance will continue to serve as an organizer of leadership trainings, a facilitator of cross-regional collaborations, a platform for resource sharing and exchange among Chinese lalas in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and the U.S.


Chinese Lala Alliance
November 24th, 2009

Media contact: lalaalliance@gmail.com
 

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