We are a group of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer activists who speak to elementary, middle, and high schools, as well as to adults in community colleges and work settings such as hospitals and police departments. We believe that by personalizing the realities of LGBTQ people, we can help break down stereotypes which might otherwise lead to ongoing marginalization and violence against members of our communities.
We are a diverse group of individuals from a wide variety of racial, class, educational, family, and professional backgrounds, and are available to speak to classrooms, on conference panels, and other such venues. Most of us have been enthusiastic speakers with the Speakers Bureau for years—some for nearly two decades! We are all volunteers with day jobs whose passion for engaging in open, honest dialogue about the issues facing LGBTQ people has inspired us to create a new way to continue this work.
The San Francisco LGBTQ Speakers Bureau aims to bring an end to homophobic and transphobic violence and harassment by educating people about the everyday lives of those in our community. We believe that through open and honest dialogue about issues pertaining to sexual orientation and gender identity, we can help foster a greater understanding of our common humanity, which in turn will result in healthier, safer communities for everyone.
The Speakers Bureau was founded in 1978 by Tom Ammiano and Hank Wilson in direct response to the successful defeat of the Briggs' Initiative. Ammiano and Wilson, both gay school teachers with the SFUSD at that time, believed that the only way to help stop homophobic violence was to humanize queer people to students. Hank Wilson went on to become one of the founding members of CUAV (Community United Against Violence) in the aftermath of the White Night Riots in 1979. When CUAV officially incorporated as a nonprofit in 1981, they folded in the Speakers Bureau and there it remained until 2009. Like most nonprofits in the economic meltdown of 2008–2009. CUAV was faced with massive budget cuts; it eliminated the Speakers Bureau as part of the organization's restructuring in 2009. We, a group of volunteer speakers, decided to continue the crucial work of educating students, community members, and health professionals about our lives as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer people.
The Center for Research and Education on Gender and Sexuality (CREGS)
Youth Programs at the San Francisco LGBT Community Center
Funded in part by the Bay Area Physicians for Human Rights (BAPHR)
We are approved by the San Francisco Unified School District.
See our Contact page for Staff, Advisory Board, and Community Partners
page group for speakers