Insights & News

Stradley Ronon Hosts Conversation Exploring Queer History

November 30, 2022
Firm News

THEN & NOW: Queer History and Progress From the People Who Lived It

PHILADELPHIA – On November 10, Stradley Ronon presented a CLE program, “Then and Now: Queer History and Progress from the People Who Lived It,” at its Philadelphia office. The event, which was moderated by the firm’s Chief Diversity Officer Brian P. Seaman, featured insights from Stradley’s Executive Director Gillian G. Facher and from gay rights pioneer and author Mark Segal. The event illuminated the evolution of gay rights and the progress and struggles of queer people through the personal experiences of Facher and Segal over the last five decades. Attendees also engaged in a conversation with the panelists about the challenges of “coming out” in the 60s and 70s and how the queer community has evolved over the past half-century. To watch a replay of the event, please visit our site.

Each guest received a signed copy of Segal’s memoir, “And Then I Danced: Traveling the Road to LGBT Equality.” The event closed with a substantial donation from the firm to Segal’s new nonprofit, The Gay Liberation Front Foundation, for which Stradley handled the legal work.

Over the 30 years that Facher has been Stradley’s executive director, she has been a champion and promoter of women and diverse attorneys and business professionals with the robust support of the firm. She has been a mentor and coach to dozens of attorneys, either through regular one-on-one meetings or through her leadership of formal programs focused on leadership, business development and the professional development of diverse and non-diverse lawyers. In addition to these responsibilities, Facher focuses her time on matters relating to practice group management, regional office expansion and lateral acquisitions and integration of partners and groups. She is also responsible for oversight of most of the firm’s business operations, including human resources, recruiting and professional development, marketing, operations, information systems, library and research services, and regional office operations. Facher is an active member of the firm’s LGBTQ+ Engagement Group, Queer & Allies and has been Stradley’s openly gay executive director since 1991.

Segal has established a reputation as the dean of American gay journalism over the past five decades. From the Stonewall demonstrations in 1969 to founding the Philadelphia Gay News in 1975, along with his forays into TV and politics over the years, his proven commitment as a tireless LGBT advocate has made him a force to be reckoned with. Respected by his peers for pioneering the idea of local LGBT newspapers, he is one of the founders and former president of both the National Gay Press Association and the National Gay Newspaper Guild. Segal was recently inducted into the National Lesbian & Gay Journalist Association's Hall of Fame and was appointed a member of the Comcast/NBCUniversal Joint Diversity Board, where he advises the entertainment giant on LGBTQ+ issues. He is also president of the dmhFund, through which he builds affordable LGBT-friendly housing for seniors. He lives in Philadelphia.

Stradley Ronon is committed to diversity for many reasons: because it provides a voice to the unique perspectives of all our attorneys; because it reflects the evolving face of the legal profession; and because it allows us to provide the highest-quality services to our clients, who are as diverse as we are. Most of all, though, Stradley is committed to diversity because we believe there is strength in the differences among our experiences and world views.


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