VOLUNTEER VOICES

Gerber Hart is interested in hearing from and sharing the stories of our volunteers. Below we hear from Gene Naden, whose tireless efforts made this website possible.

Interview with Gene Naden of the website team

Gene-Naden-RT-022715How did you come to work on the Gerber/Hart library’s website?
When I retired from writing website and database software, I found I needed projects. The first of these was the website for the LGBT running and walking club FrontRunners FrontWalkers. From there I moved on to doing a bit of content management for the New Town Alano Club’s site. Both of these were WordPress applications. I knew about Gerber/Hart Library and Archives from my days with the old New Town Writers group. When I came to the Library to do research for my book of prayers, I saw that there was a need for WordPress skills and I volunteered.

Why do you chose this project over other worthy causes?
I want to make a contribution to the LGBTQ community that will have a lasting impact, benefitting queer persons on a daily basis as well as having a positive impact on the future of our culture and community. I feel that influencing the future involves appreciating the historical context in which we have lived. I was a bisexual adolescent in the days before the Stonewall riots. It was a time of great isolation and fear for me and millions of other children. The Library’s mission is to meet “the information needs of its unique community in a safe atmosphere that promotes research, exploration, and discovery” and is based on the belief that “knowledge is the key to dispelling homophobia.” I cannot imagine a better way to transform our traumatic past into a beautiful, joyful future. I believe that the sexual minorities of the world will play a uniquely powerful role in the resolution of the humanitarian crisis the world currently faces, and the knowledge base provided by centers like Gerber/Hart will be the bedrock foundation for that process.