Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The 25th Anniversary of the Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues

by Sarah Jaramillo
I have come out with relative ease to my law librarian colleagues over the years. The nonchalance of these disclosures was due in part to the work of the SR-SIS Standing Committee on Lesbian and Gay Issues (SCLGI). So, as a grateful member of SCLGI, I would like to take a moment to commemorate this group’s 25th Anniversary.
Please join me in celebrating the SCLGI’s 25th anniversary at a reception on Sunday, July 11, from 8-11 pm at Dixon’s Downtown Grill at 16th and Wazee. The reception is a fundraiser for the Alan Holoch Memorial Grant.
Carol Alpert called the first meeting of the SCLGI at the 1985 Annual Meeting. All eight attendees agreed that the environment for LGBT librarians necessitated the SCLGI. Camille Broussard, an early SCLGI chair, notes that in 1985 “it was not a profession that you felt very comfortable being out.” From early days to the present, a spirit of sensitivity and inclusion has been an SCLGI hallmark. This is evident in former chair Scott Fisher’s account of meeting Alan Holoch: “Alan came along saw me and, I'm sure, noticed my nervousness and asked if I was looking for the SCLGI meeting. I think I nodded and he said, ‘I'm heading in there too so, just follow me!’ and I did. He sat next to me and talked with me at my first SCGLI meeting and made me very welcome.”
SCLGI members have presented educational programs, published a sexual orientation bibliography, and supported resolutions that encourage equality and diversity. For example in 1992, the SCLGI successfully campaigned to cancel the1998 Annual Meeting in Denver, Colorado. The campaign was due to Colorado’s Amendment 2, which prohibited “sexual orientation” from being a protected class in any state, county, or municipal law. The group continues to be vital. LGBT issues still command attention. Transgender discrimination is not prohibited by the Association’s bylaws. Stephanie Davidson recognizes another challenge for librarians and the SCLGI is the incorporation of various resources from disparate disciplines into LGBT research bibliographies.
The SCLGI work will continue until realization of what former chair Scott Fisher believes is the group’s ultimate goal – dissolution: “When true equality is achieved, the need for a Standing Committee on Lesbian & Gay Issues will cease to exist because an individual’s sexual orientation will no longer be an issue to anyone.”

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