From the Development Director | What Drives My Passion for Queer History

by Sean Greene

As the new development director for the GLBT Historical Society, I’m excited about working with our supporters, members, volunteers, staff, and board to make sure our queer past has a great future. My own history will give you a sense of what I bring to the job — and why I leaped at the opportunity.

For as long as I can remember, I have been active in giving back to my community. From school fundraisers and performances to volunteering and marching against inequality in college. So. Much. Marching. My activism led me to Manhattan working for AIDS Walk New York and Condé Nast and volunteering as an abortion-clinic escort in the mid-90s.

Missing the California snow-free winters, I moved cross-country again, this time making my home in San Francisco, and here I’ve stayed for the past 22 years. I arrived before the first dot-com explosion. And naturally, I did what all the other twentysomethings were doing: I became a web developer and a DJ. I didn’t know it at the time, but my subsequent years of DJ-ing and party producing were actually building vital skills — just not for work as a DJ or a party producer.

A New Sense of Camaraderie

In 2007 I was asked to coproduce of the first Bay of Pigs dance party with Folsom Street Events, then I was then invited to join their board of directors. My time on the Folsom board broadened my appreciation for our global community. Witnessing people from all over the world come here for the chance to express themselves, even for just a short time, awakened a new sense of camaraderie in me.

The years of DJ schmoozing and event planning led me seamlessly into development work with nonprofits such as the Breast Cancer Emergency Fund and the AIDS Emergency Fund. In addition, I volunteer at Hospitality House, SOMCAN (South of Market Community Action Network) and other amazing organizations. Recognizing the deep roots of these nonprofits has helped me further appreciate the importance of our LGBTQ heritage.

That’s my story. What’s yours? I’d love to get a chance to talk with you and find out what drives your passion for queer history. Together, I know we can discover, preserve and share the stories of the LGBTQ past that can inspire us to carry on our movement for equality and respect today and tomorrow.

Sean Greene is development director for the GLBT Historical Society. Contact him atgro.y1519240211rotsi1519240211htblg1519240211@naes1519240211.

Reprinted from the January 2018 issue of History Happens, the monthly newsletter of the GLBT Historical Society. To subscribe to the newsletter, click here.