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A Brief History
of Out Professionals

Our rich history and strong regional legacy begins in Metro New York in 1983. For nearly 40 years, we’ve helped LGBTQ professionals advance their careers through networking and educational events as a volunteer-driven, member-supported nonprofit.

Today, as social distancing eases we are resuming our national expansion towards a network of city chapters after a strong launch in 2019 just prior to COVID-19.

Join Our Present and Be Part of Our Future.

Become a part of our growing community of LGBTQ professionals.

We welcome corporate partners who want to put their brand front and center with the LGBTQ community and help us grow our national network. Learn more about the benefits we offer partners, including FlexMemberships for your LGBTQ employees and their supportive allies in your organization.

Individuals and business owners are invited to become Supporting Members for free and discounted admission to in-person and virtual events and other benefits.

Milestone Timeline

1983
Launched as the New York Advertising and Communications Network (NYACN), focused on LGBTQ professionals in advertising, marketing, and communications In Metro New York. During this time, the organization was almost a “secret society” with word-of-mouth referrals to colleagues and closed meetings due to the high risk of being fired for being LGBTQ.
1992
Incorporated in New York State and registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(7) nonprofit.
1999
Changed the organization name to Out Professionals to encompass the diverse career and professions of an expanding membership.
2011
Launch of Out Pro Lounge, our highly attended monthly networking mixer series for LGBTQ professionals. In due course, these events were regularly attended by thousands of professionals every year.
2011
Industry-focused networking events begin with "LGBTQ Professionals in Real Estate," later adding a series for "LGBTQ Professionals in Healthcare" in 2018.
2019
Start of a pilot program partnering with LGBTQ centers, including THE LOFT, serving Westchester and surrounding areas north of New York City. As co-hosts, we share our networking expertise to help partner organizations expand their community footprint.
January–March
2020

Expansion of Out Professionals’ new chapter in Los Angeles with a kick-off Out Pro Lounge attended by 230+ professionals. Community interest was so great that we were forced to cut off advance registration two weeks prior to the event. Similarly, the launch of a chapter in Houston planned for April 2020, was poised for similar success before postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

April
2020

We quickly evolved the organization to online, virtual events due to social distancing, including the launch of our well-received Life Preserver webinar series as well as virtual networking mixers guided by professional moderators.

During lockdown, we leaned forward to further develop our plans for a systematic national expansion.

August
2021
To advance our growing mission of career development education and events, we founded the Out Professionals Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit (application pending).
Present
We are also continuing our expansion of new city chapters when and where conditions allow. Please see our Event Safety and COVID-19 policy to learn more.

Credits:
Illustration by Linas Garsys
Select Imagery by Alan Barnett Photography