The lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community itself is the product of decades of informal networking. Over the years, we have found each other through bars and coffee shops, bookstores and bathhouses, guidebooks and newsletters. Finding the community, in fact, was our first task after finding ourselves.
These days, and in this country, the LGBT community is much easier to find. We can see ourselves, to varying degrees, in print, on screen, and on the streets. We have claimed entire neighborhoods in cities across the country, where our rainbow flags and pink triangles are visible for all to see. We’ve created and joined political alliances and organizations. We’ve found new ways to use technology to find community online, and with our mobile devices. Finding each other is no longer the challenge it used to be.
Truly creating a network, however, is still a challenge. For LGBT people looking for professional mentoring, industry connections, vendor recommendations, and other professional services that cater to our community, there have been fairly few options. Because we are often not visible to one another – especially at work – word-of-mouth, sub-groups within professional associations, and classified advertising have been the only resources available.
Of course, dot429 changes this scenario dramatically – which is why so many of us were excited by the opportunity to sign on as founding members. The potential of this tool is astounding. Our professional success as individuals can, in turn, create opportunities for our entire community. Once we’re able to find one another easily, there’s really nothing that can stop us.
That’s why I am a part of dot429.
Image Credit: Mark Smith