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Saturday, January 30, 2010

Dallas hosts 22nd National Conference on LGBT Equality

Dallas, Jan. 30, 2010 – Activism fuels tourism and commerce in Texas next week as an estimated 2,000 agents for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights descend on Dallas.
The 22nd National Conference on LGBT Equality: Creating Change, spearheaded by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, will be held Feb. 3 – 7 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel. It serves as an annual political, leadership and skills-building conference for the LGBT social justice movement.

The red-state city’s tourism officials continue to use diversity marketing to shake any stereotypes of cowboy conservatism. The effort seems to be working—the city has landed more than 32 LGBT conventions and events since the Dallas Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB) first began reaching out to LGBT travelers and convention business in 2003. The CVB places the total economic value on its LGBT marketing efforts at more than $37 million. 

The Dallas-Fort Worth metropolitan area has seen its population surge past 6.5 million in recent years. Demographers estimate that the LGBT population in Dallas ranks sixth in the country.

Such a large population translates into abundant shopping experiences and a cutting-edge culinary scene. Oak Lawn, the city’s primary LGBT district, includes a large cluster of bars, restaurants and shops along Cedar Springs Road.  Nearby a 19-block urban arts district links a variety of cultural outlets with four venues designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architects, including the new AT&T Performing Arts Center. Gay travelers can learn more about the city’s attractions at the Dallas CVB-run website,


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