Has It Been THAT Long???

Thirty-seven years ago, I walked onto the campus of McGeorge School of Law as a first year law student. I was a single mom and I was going to do this in the regular day program. With lots of student loans and three part-time jobs and a wonderful group of friends who became the “baby-sitting tag team”, I graduated three years later. My daughter walked across the stage with me.

I managed to do something while I was there. Not just studying and not just making ends meet occasionally but something that actually mattered to other people. And, at the time, I didn’t think it was important to very many.

It all started with my friend Joel. I believe it was in our first class (I could be wrong about that). It was torts (I think). He sat on one side of me and Josh sat on the other. We formed a study group right then and there. We were all terrified on different levels.

For Joel the terror came not so much from the work and the studying but from having to restructure his life. He had been living in San Francisco and other cities before that where he was out living his life openly and happily. McGeorge was not a place that was safe for a gay man. Joel decided to change that.

He asked me to help. And I did.

We knew that McGeorge was a very ‘conservative’ law school. But we wanted a safe space. There were other ‘law societies’ on campus and it seemed that there was no such animal for gay people. We approached the Women’s Law Student group (the name of which escapes me right now) and our welcome was not what we had hoped. We begged and pushed to get our classmates to sign the petition that we had to present to the administration in order to have the school recognize a new group. Our flyers were defaced. Some threatened to call the county child services on me. Joel received many an unkind remark.

When Joel saw a closeted gay professor at a local gay watering hole, he introduced himself and told the man what we were doing. The professor’s response was ‘WHY?’. “Why bother.”

But we persisted and Lambda Law Society was born.

When we finally left McGeorge we did not know if the Society would last. We kind of assumed that it would not.

This last weekend we were invited to a celebration of the 10th anniversary of the Jeffery Poile Scholarship for LGBTQ students of McGeorge. It was also the 37th anniversary of the establishment of the Lambda Law Society on that campus.

We were treated like royalty by students AND FACULTY of all genders and orientations. Their Fall Spectacular was a drag show with the Dean, Assistant Deans, and even the Provost participating. It was a real hoot.

2019-11-09 21.37.55 (edited-Pixlr)

The Society had survived. We had survived. The law school survived. And we all thrived.

So the answer to the professor’s question is:






Categories: Justice, Law, Law School, UncategorizedTags: , ,


  1. Did you stay in touch with Josh too?


  2. Yes, I have. He is close to retirement now. He did not get involved as 1) he was married and 2) he was one of those overly intense students. Because of the latter, he got Joel and I through that school! It all worked out great.


  3. The present string of posts on Alien Resort are law-related.


  4. Proof that a few can make a difference. Bravo to all of you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful story!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  6. You must feel gratified by your effect on many lives of students at McGeorge School of Law. You could be known as a Pioneer. You are truly a light of guidance for many more to follow. Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you, Darlene. It took more than just us two. The rest kept at it and they are the real heros in this story.


  8. That is *awesome.* And the literal awesome, not the way I tend to abuse the word.


  9. Thank you, my friend. VERY, VERY much.


  10. Thank you. Most of the credit must go to Joel. He worked so hard and took so much abuse.

    Liked by 1 person

  11.   You certainly made a difference to me!


  12. Remember what it was like? How scared we were? You would not have believed the joy and sense of belonging that exists in that place now. Joel and I were dumbfounded. So happy and no words to describe what we were feeling.


  13. THAT’S WHY, i’m crying buckets of tears…. your story has deeply touched me….. My step-son is gay…. and has been, since he was a teenager….. we have been the the best of mates, all through his trials and tribulations……. he lives with his partner in Sydney, he is now 53, but has experienced many anti-social attitudes over the years, even suffered a hate-gay bashing on a street in Sydney……. I believe attitudes are slowly changing in Sydney, and Australia, in General….. My love goes to you for your wonderful compassion and bravery…. truly beautiful…. well done and sincere congratulations…..xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Have I told you how much I love you????Thank you for your kind words and for sharing some of your step-son’s story! We have much more to do. But it is happening.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Oh, I love to loved…. I’ve writing about love, the last two days…


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