A Brief Introduction
in the news
It wasn't long ago when El Paso had no formal, full-time
gay & lesbian organization. It was a time when gays and lesbians
who were victimized on the streets and in the classrooms had no one to
call for help and information. Newspapers and television stations rarely
covered gay events that had an impact on our lives, much less featured
any stories about local gay community happenings. It was also a time
when El Pasoans had no lesbian & gay community center where they could
find information about gay life, gather to support and plan, and organize
and educate themselves in a safe, welcoming environment. And it wasn't
too many years ago when most of this community's homosexuals, bisexuals,
and transgendered persons had no one to call, anonymously or otherwise,
if they needed to talk or get a referral.
In those days, rainbow stickers and pink triangles were
rarely seen anywhere on city streets -- those that appeared went largely
unrecognized. Young gays were left isolated and alone, often attempting
suicide or fleeing intolerant homes, without any voice, response, or representation
in our community. Our young queers were forced to fend for themselves
because older gays, suffering from homo-homophobia and believing many of
society's stereotypes about themselves, thought that any attention to the
problems of growing up queer was taboo.
The historical importance of the "lambda" symbol, Stonewall,
and pioneer organizations such as NGTF, Lavender Menace, and Mattachine
Society, were largely unknown. There was no IRS-recognized nonprofit
gay organization in the area that dedicated resources and channeled energy
into reducing apathy, teaching skills to develop future leaders, or challenging
This was all occurring in El Paso less than ten years
ago . . . before LAMBDA.
LAMBDA began in 1991, and was then known simply as LAMBDA
Services. Since then, our name has officially changed to LAMBDA
GLBT Community Services, to better reflect our mission and goals.
Throughout LAMBDA's history, our organization has been
respected for its dedication and trustworthiness. LAMBDA's work has impacted
thousands of lives, spreading accurate information about whom we are into
our region's homes, its workplaces, and even its closets.
LAMBDA has led the effort to create an awareness of homophobia
and its effects throughout the area, becoming a major source of information
for decision makers and news media. LAMBDA has also worked to protect gays
and lesbians from discrimination and violence in homes, businesses, and
schools through educational campaigns, non-discrimination leadership, and
Because of LAMBDA, gay and non-gay teenagers have had
weekly peer support group meetings to help them find and form friendships,
answer questions, and provide invaluable information and resources to each
other. As LAMBDA volunteers, individuals of all ages and backgrounds
take part in helping to educate and support the public in matters relating
to homosexuality. Today, LAMBDA continues its efforts to enlighten, and
end violence and discrimination against lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered,
gay, and HIV-positive people.
In pursuit of its mission, LAMBDA
focuses on support, education, and advocacy through four main strategies:
EDUCATE OURSELVES: To
organize the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community to provide
a source for accurate information about and within our community
EDUCATE THE PUBLIC: To
improve the public's understanding of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
community by providing accurate information, offering seminars and workshops,
and conducting public education campaigns.
reduce homo-homophobia, encourage empowerment, and expand understanding
of sexual orientation and related issues by working with lesbian, gay,
bisexual and transgender organizations and individuals.
recognize, reduce, and respond to the effects of homophobia, prejudice,
and ignorance by designing and implementing educational and supportive
to LAMBDA's homepage.
Comments/information: send us email
Copyright © 1997-1999 LAMBDA GLBT Community Services.
All Rights Reserved.