Mission & History

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Our Mission

SpeakOUT is a community of speakers working to create a world free of homo-bi-transphobia and other forms of prejudice by telling the truths of our lives.

We do so by:

  • conducting educational programs about LGBTQIA* lives and issues;
  • training individuals and organizations to use public speaking as a means of creating positive cultural change;
  • sharing our lives and experiences publicly in order to support those struggling with sexuality and gender identity; and
  • educating within the communities we represent about issues that divide us.

We engage audiences in honest dialogue, and in keeping with our motto "Ask Us Anything," invite any questions that may challenge harmful stereotypes and misconceptions.


SpeakOUT’s roots trace back to 1972, when members of the Daughters of Bilitis and the Homophile Union of Boston (some of the earliest gay rights organizations) joined forces to create the Gay Speakers Bureau. Since then, the organization’s name has evolved to emphasize our primary service and to reflect the rich diversity of the LGBTQIA community, including bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual people. 

Today, our membership includes more than 100 speakers who represent a broad range of ages, backgrounds, experiences, and sexual and gender identities. We continue to diversify our membership further by reaching out to communities of color and other underrepresented voices.

Every LGBTQIA person is an individual, so no two speakers will say quite the same things. We celebrate the unique perspectives of all of our varied speakers and work to present a cross-section of views, experiences, and identities in each of our community engagements.

*LGBTQIA: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer & questioning, intersex, and asexual