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Celebrating 50 Years & Moving Forward

As SpeakOUT heads towards 2022—our 50th anniversary year!—we are excited to highlight the work that has kept our organization going for half a century.

  • Fifty years of LGBTQ+ community members participating in peer-led trainings to learn how to create and share an effective story to raise awareness about LGBTQ+ lives.
  • Fifty years of SpeakOUT members sharing personal stories in public and private schools, colleges, businesses, faith communities, public libraries, community organizations, and more.
  • Fifty years of helping to create safer and more inclusive spaces for LGBTQ+ people throughout the region—SpeakOUT speakers have traveled to all the New England states to share their stories.
  • Fifty years of SpeakOUT speakers building understanding about sexual orientation, gender identity, coming-out experiences, workplace discrimination, bisexuality, marriage equality, transgender rights, queer youth, nonbinary identities, and everything else that is included in the richness and complexities of LGBTQ+ lives.

Think about all the things that have changed for the LGBTQ+ community in 50 years! SpeakOUT has proven the power personal storytelling has to open minds and change attitudes. We know our work with diverse audiences has helped raise awareness about the lives of LGBTQ+ people and created change in communities.

The Challenge

We all know how difficult and strange 2020 and 2021 have been. A lot of sacrifice. A lot of loss. A lot of changes within our worklife, personal life, and social interactions.

SpeakOUT, too, has adapted to the realities of the COVID era, and we spent 2021 primarily in online environments with our clients. With continued violence against LGBTQ+ people and legislative challenges that threaten our rights, SpeakOUT believes that our personal approach to discussing LGBTQ+ lives is still making a difference!

To cope within the changing climate—and as an organization that thrives on personal interactions with our audiences—we have learned how to leverage technology to bring that same sense of connection to our online engagements.

50K for 50 Years

Starting with this end-of-year appeal, SpeakOUT is launching a 50K for 50 Years campaign to provide sustainability and growth for the organization in 2022 and beyond!

This is a large goal for a small grassroots organization like SpeakOUT, and we are asking our supporters and sponsors to help us expand our program beyond Boston with this campaign. LGBTQ+ inclusive spaces are essential in our schools, in our workplaces, and in our communities and we want to do our part in creating more of those spaces—wherever they may be!

Your Contribution

We want to end 2021 strong in order to step into our anniversary year with renewed momentum to support our goals that will carry us past the COVID context. This past June, we had the most successful Pride Month ever and spoke to online audiences in the Boston area as well as corporate audiences across the U.S. and internationally.

With your support, we will continue to expand our work through the online approach beyond the Greater Boston area.

Make your tax-deductible donation today by making an online donation at You can make a one-time gift or become a monthly or quarterly donor!

Ellyn Ruthstrom

Executive Director