The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer Taskforce of the AHA was created by AHA Council at the January 2009 annual meeting. The Taskforce is composed of five members (with the vice president and a member of the Professional Division and AHA serving as co-chairs), one additional AHA member appointed by the Professional Division (PD), and two appointed by the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender History (CLGBTH), an affiliate society of the AHA. The Taskforce has a three-year charge and meets once a year always during the AHA annual meeting with several conference calls during the year for discussion of ongoing business.
As a newly constituted Taskforce of the AHA, our charge is to gather information about the concerns of LGBTQ historians and propose concrete, practical solutions for as many of them as possible. We have already begun conducting a benchmark survey of other professional organizations with an eye to best practices and policies. Ideally, this will result in an “LGBTQ equity in the workplace/best practices” guide. Another possible focus of attention will be a survey of LGBTQ historians and those doing LGBTQ history to determine hiring and discrimination trends in the field. This would result in a “status of LGBTQ people in the historical profession” report. But the Taskforce will also attend more broadly to the special problems faced by LGBTQ historians (including those teaching LGBTQ topics) on the job market, in the classroom, in the research field, and in all stages of their careers. In addition, the Taskforce will address the ways in which the AHA can best serve the needs of LGBTQ historians.
Our target audience is the AHA leadership and membership and our charge does not include taking a public stand on issues such as the boycott of the Manchester Grand Hyatt, one of the headquarters for the 2010 AHA annual meeting in San Diego.
That said, the Taskforce is interested in learning more about and reflecting on how and why this situation developed, how the AHA has responded, what the impact will be on LGBTQ history and historians, and what can be done to avoid such situations in the future.
If members of the AHA have thoughts about the San Diego convention that they would like to share with the Taskforce, please e-mail Leisa Meyer at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If members of the AHA would like more information about the Committee on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender History, please consult the committee’s web site and/or Facebook page: