By Vic Gerami
The Gay And Lesbian Armenian Society is a nonprofit organization that seeks to serve and unite LGBTQ people of Armenian descent in Los Angeles and beyond.
The mission of GALAS is to (1) foster a safe and supportive network for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) people of Armenian descent; (2) promote their empowerment within their communities; and (3) build bridges between the LGBTQ and Armenian communities and among all allied and intersectional communities.
GALAS was formed in 1998 by a number of gay and lesbian Armenians in Los Angeles who were looking for friendship, support, and a sense of belonging in the community. As the informal gatherings gave way to formal meetings, the infrastructure of the organization started taking shape.
In 1999, GALAS ratified its first bylaws and elected seven members to its newly created Board of Directors. In the ensuing years, GALAS transformed into a full-fledged non-profit organization and maintained an active calendar of events year-round.
In addition to social gatherings and its annual fundraising gala event, GALAS, through the last sixteen years, has provided a sense of community and vital resources for its members, such as its educational conferences and access to health counseling. The organization has also made a commitment to provide outreach and promote the equality of LGBTQ Armenians within the larger community.
For more information, please visit GALASLA.org