Chapter 2:
Building Your Group
By Felice Yeskel, Ed.D.
Introduction: The Way It Is
won t get active in your group no matter
what you do.  That s just the way it is.  It
So you want to get more folks involved in
does no good to complain at your meet 
your lgbt group or organization.  So you
ings, "Where is everybody?" or "Why
want to keep them involved and commit 
ted.  So you want to feel a sense of lgbt
Don t spend your time focus 
community on your campus.  You ve tried
ing on who s not there; focus
everything you can think of and still one
on who is involved.
or two people are doing all the work.  Or
one year your group is great and the next
year it s non existent.  Have no fear.
You re not crazy; it s not easy.  In fact it s
don t more people get involved?"  If you
probably one of the toughest things you ll
focus on those who are at the meeting,
do as a lgbt leader.  And the most impor 
and help them become more involved,
tant.  Without good leadership, it will be
your organization will grow.  If you feel
difficult to have a healthy group or orga 
good about the work you are doing, sup 
nization.  And without a strong group or
port each other, and do what you do
organization it is difficult to create
because you want to, not because you
change on campus and improve the qual 
"have to," you will raise energy and
ity of life for lgbt people.  
interest.  More people will get attracted to
a group that appears vital.  So, don t
spend your time focusing on who s not
there; focus on who is involved.  
You don t need a lot of peo 
ple to have a lot of impact.
But that doesn t mean you can just relax
You are not alone
; most leaders run into
and be a cozy little group.  Even though
the same problems on their campuses.
most lgbt people will not get involved,
The good news is that you don t need a lot
every lgbt person on your campus should
of people to have a lot of impact.  That s
know that your group exists, where it
good, because on most campuses, most
meets, what it does, and how to get in
lgbt students, staff, and faculty are not
touch if they want to.  They should be
"out."  And many of those who are out,
consistently informed about the group s
This chapter was based on "Building Your Group: Training materials for Public Housing
Tenant Organizations in Massachusetts," by Anne Slepian,   1990.
B u i l d i n g   Y o u r   G r o u p
M     2 1


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