“A Special Interest Group (SIG) is a community within a larger organization with a shared interest in advancing a specific area of knowledge, learning or technology where members cooperate to affect or to produce solutions within their particular field, and may communicate, meet, and organize conferences.”
SIETAR Europa has recently opened several Special Interest Groups, with SIG LGBTQ being one of them. The following is an account of how the SIG LGBTQ was conceived by Thomas Greenway and Joel A. Brown:
“As interculturalists and dedicated SIETAR members, we both have had the pleasure of attending SIETAR events in the past year. However, it was during our chance meeting in Dublin that we got personally acquainted and started to discuss and share our perspectives as LGBTQ interculturalists and SIETAR members. Over the years, Rita Wuebbler created a SIETAR Pride network to help build a sense of community.
Buoyed by Rita’s efforts, each of us recognized the importance of SIETAR and the opportunities that SIETAR creates to educate people about different cultures and how to engage those cultures effectively. And yet, separately and collectively, we also agreed that while SIETAR does a wonderful job of illuminating culture, there is a perceptible void when it comes to facilitating intercultural conversations about LGBTQ culture. LGBTQ people live, work, and breathe in every country, and to the extent that interculturalists become more knowledgeable about LGBTQ culture and more culturally savvy in their engagements with LGBTQ people, the field of inter-culturalism will grow tremendously. After that dinner in Dublin, we begin a series of conversations, all of which ultimately led to the idea of creating a LGBTQ Caucus within SIETAR.”