J.T. is a leading member of a prominent LGBT organization. I asked specifically about managing perceptions around “colonization” and “appropriation” when working on issues related to attendance diversity in large LGBT organizations.
His advice was simple. Give the power to the people. Recruit leaders in underrepresented communities and empower them to create new events the way they want to.
He said just like early American racial integration, the issue must at first be forced on to the unwilling majority audiences in the city, and that they will learn to accept it. Empower the underrepresented to be their own leaders, and no one can accuse you of appropriating or colonizing those groups.