LGBTQ Attorneys and Allies bar association forms in Long Beach

LGBTQ Attorneys and Allies, a section of the Long Beach Bar Association, was approved in September. Photo: iStock/seb_ra

LONG BEACH — Attorney Roy Jimenez says the new Long Beach LGBTQ bar association is long overdue for the community.

“Believe it or not, not every attorney is out,” said Jimenez, who is out. “They would feel comfortable at our group. It would allow camaraderie with other LGBT attorneys and be a forum for the community.

“Based on the history and demographics of Long Beach, this group was long overdue,” said Jimenez, the group’s president.

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LGBTQ ATTORNEYS & ALLIES

LGBTQ Attorneys and Allies, a section of the Long Beach Bar Association, was approved in September and hosts a kickoff party and  fundraiser tonight at Paradise Bar and Restaurant. Tickets are $20 and include a buffet. Also, drag queen bingo for $2 a card.  All net proceeds will be donated to Lambda Legal.

HISTORIC GROUP

LGBTQ Attorneys and Allies is historic as it’s the first LGBT bar association in Long Beach. The Long Beach Bar Association is 100 years old, but never had such a chapter. (Better late than never, right?)

The Los Angeles LGBT Bar Association started in 1979.

The mission of LGBT Attorneys and Allies is to provide networking, educational, and community service opportunities. Some of those elements will include continuing education on LGBTQ legal issues, free legal clinics, and scholarships, Jimenez said.

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BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

The camaraderie among attorneys who feel comfortable talking about themselves out of the closet could lead to better networking and business development, Jimenez said.

“All business relationships are getting to know someone, getting someone to like you and trust you on a human level,” Jimenez said.

“When they know you as the ‘attorney guy,’ that’s great, but they don’t really know you,” he said. “When you’re in the closet and can’t share your life with people, you can’t build relationships.”

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About the author

Phillip Zonkel

Award-winning journalist Phillip Zonkel spent 17 years at Long Beach's Press-Telegram, where he was the first reporter in the paper's history to have a beat covering the city's vibrant LGBTQ. He also created and ran the popular and innovative LGBTQ news blog, Out in the 562.

He won two awards and received a nomination for his reporting on the local LGBT community, including a two-part investigation that exposed anti-gay bullying of local high school students and the school districts' failure to implement state mandated protections for LGBT students.