Brooklyn Bar’s new LGBT committee is looking for members
The Brooklyn Bar Association just approved a new LGBT committee and it needs more members in order to be up and running by the fall.
Christina Golkin, a Bay Ridge lawyer working for the Brooklyn District Attorney’s office, pitched the idea for a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender committee in June and said the reaction was positive. After gaining enough members to get a committee approved, she is now looking for more members to make it self-sufficient.
“I was really inspired by Pride Month and I wanted to get involved,” Golkin said. “I looked at the Brooklyn Bar’s website and I noticed that (LGBT members) didn’t have a forum and I was really surprised because this is Brooklyn.”
It’s still not an official committee yet as the group hasn’t appointed a chair or had its initial meeting, but Golkin hopes to get all of that accomplished by the fall. Her goal is to have a group that can host Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminars at least twice a year and meet for monthly networking events.
The networking events, Golkin said, would be especially helpful for LGBT lawyers who are in need of community support.
“This issue of disclosure is ever present,” Golkin said. “Being in an environment where you know that there is a professional community that can talk about our issues, understands what it’s like and if you come into a room and you know that everyone is an ally or gay, it is so much less stressful.”
She already has many ideas for CLE topics including transgender issues, which she believes will now come to the forefront of national debates, and HIV/AIDS healthcare rights and issues. The hope is to get everything in order by September so that the group can host a CLE right as the Brooklyn Bar Association kickstarts its CLE season.
To get any of this done, the committee needs membership. Golkin envisions the group as all-inclusive and encourages both gay people and their straight allies to join. She even hopes that this will attract new members to the Brooklyn Bar itself.
“We’re looking for members and everyone is welcome,” said Golkin. “We’re looking to become a self-sufficient group and, who knows, maybe by this time next year we can march in the Brooklyn Pride Parade under the Brooklyn Bar Association banner.”
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