Comedian Hayden Kristal, sports journalist Katie Barnes to keynote 31st annual MBLGTACC

Hayden Kristal (left) and Katie Barnes (right)
Hayden Kristal (left) and Katie Barnes (right)


Lansing, MI—Hayden Kristal, zookeeper-turned-activist-comedian, and Katie Barnes, award-winning journalist writing about sports and gender, will headline the Midwest Bisexual Lesbian Gay Transgender Asexual College Conference this November in Lexington, Kentucky. The theme of the annual conference is Queer Joy as Our Lasting Legacy.

Hayden Kristal (they/them) will address attendees on Friday, November 3, 2023. Hayden is a Colorado-based Deaf queer activist and stand-up comedian. Life at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities has led them to a career as a professional speaker, exploring the intersections of ability, gender, sexuality, and access, particularly within the spheres of activism and social justice. They’ve brought their funny, engaging, and interactive workshops and speeches to dozens of conferences, businesses, and schools all across North America including Harvard, Yale, Columbia, TEDx, Coldwell Banker, the Minnesota Department of Human Services, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the Connecticut Supreme Court.

Katie Barnes (they/them) will deliver the keynote on Saturday, November 4. Katie is an award winning journalist covering the intersection of sports and gender. As a feature writer at ESPN, they’ve profiled women’s sports superstars like Maya Moore, A’ja Wilson, and Amanda Nunes. They are a leading journalist in the coverage of legislation and policy affecting transgender and intersex athletes, which they also cover in their book, Fair Play: How Sports Shape the Gender Debates (St. Martin’s Press, 2023). Katie is a 3-time GLAAD award nominee and a 2022 finalist for the Dan Jenkins Medal, a prestigious award honoring outstanding sports journalism. They were also named the 2017 Journalist of the Year by NLGJA — The Association of LGBTQ Journalists.

MBLGTACC, America’s largest and longest-running conference for LGBTQIA+ college students and young adults, will gather for the thirty-first time from November 3-5, 2023 in Lexington, Kentucky. Tickets are available at $100 per person through November 4—Conference program, lunch and learn meal ticket, and giveaways are guaranteed only for attendees registered by October 3.


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