Every person in the LGBTQ community is an important part of an astonishing saga. From Sappho to Stonewall, from Mattachine to marriage equality, this history is epic. Rainbopedia is committed to providing a permanent online archive for the history, current events, and personal stories of the LGBTQ community worldwide.
Rainbopedia is an interactive, multimedia platform for exploring, documenting, and archiving user-generated content. It’s a dynamic and easy-to-use desktop and mobile tool that gives users all over the world an opportunity to view and share encyclopedic articles and personal stories with the ability to include text, video, audio, still images, timelines and geo-location mapping.
Rainbopedia’s multilingual translation feature can instantly translate every element of the platform, including all stories, into 35+ languages. This will enable users across the globe to create and strengthen community and preserve the rich and vital legacy of LGBTQ people everywhere.
Rainbopedia is a game changer that will make LGBTQ people more visible, known, and understood. Users will be empowered to collaborate and build on each other’s efforts to fill in the parts of history that are perhaps unknown to most people, even to many of the world’s LGBTQ population.
This nonprofit archival resource will be available to scholars and hobbyists, seniors with history to share, teenagers wondering how they fit in, or anyone with a story to tell and the desire to know more. Rainbopedia will provide a safe place for a fearless exchange of information and will be a force that contributes to the end of homophobia.
Eric Handel, Founder/CEO
Eric is an award-winning designer working with clients in hi-tech, publishing, entertainment, and the arts. His work focuses on branding and product packaging as well as art direction and design of websites and mobile apps. Eric has devoted his adult life to LGBTQ and AIDS activism. He campaigned against California’s Briggs Initiative in 1978, was a founding member of an artists’ collective working with ACT UP LA in the 1980s and 90s, and produced activist art for Queer Nation and LGBTQ organizations. Eric created Rainbopedia as a global platform to transform what it means to be LGBTQ in the world today, and to preserve this epic history for generations to come.
Ellen Roebuck, Co-Creator/Brand Advisor
Ellen has guided brands in the arts, entertainment, retail and corporate worlds for more than 25 years and is a brand champion for companies large and small. She was Creative Director at Belkin International, where she managed global branding and packaging; Art Director at Columbia Pictures; and Art Director at Tajima Creative, where she directed multiple projects for Washington Mutual Bank branches and corporate headquarters. Her work with Rainbopedia combines her brand and development expertise with her love for and long standing involvement in the LGBTQ community which began in Washington DC in the 80’s, working within the AIDS health crisis and creating the Play It Safe campaign. Ellen received her BFA in Design from Carnegie Mellon University.
Joseph R. Hawkins, Ph.D, Consulting Development Advisor
Joseph is professor of Gender Studies at the University of Southern California and the Director of ONE National Gay & Lesbian Archives at USC Libraries, the oldest existing lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization in the United States and the largest repository of LGBT materials in the world.
Jeffrey Nelson, Editor/Copywriter
Jeffrey has broad experience writing and editing for a number of clients. Documenting events and communicating information are a passion for him and an ever-instructive journey. Operating with the belief that humankind has the capacity to solve its problems and achieve an ever more just and peaceful society, he is drawn toward work that helps further those goals.
David Oshima, Prototype Developer
David is a website developer who works with various healthcare, entertainment, advocacy, ecommerce and non-profit organizations. He served as the webmaster for Disney Art Classics, the National Association of Television Program Executives, the Queer Lounge at Sundance, and was a consultant on a redesign of the Getty Conservation Institute website.
Jeffrey Langham, Consulting Editorial Advisor
Jeffrey oversees the management and strategic development of the USC Shoah Foundation website. He worked at a Los Angeles-area design firm for seven years as a web designer, programmer, and copywriter. Jeffrey has expertise in nonprofit messaging and branding strategies as well as an academic background in queer theory and culture. He received his doctorate in English literature from the University of Southern California.
Mike Reese, Consulting Technology Advisor
Mike is a technology professional with 30 years of experience in the field of Software Quality Assurance. He has worked in a variety of environments, from large-scale corporations to small start-ups, including Xerox and Entertainment Partners. Mike provides software testing on a wide variety of platforms and web applications. Mike has two BS degrees, one in Electrical Engineering and one in Computer Science, from UC Irvine.
Lindsay Widdel, Consulting Social Media Advisor
Lindsay is a social media marketing strategist, photographer, and videographer. Her work revolves around social media marketing, branding, website management, plus food and lifestyle photography. Lindsay is the Director of Brand and Influencer Marketing at DMK Restaurants in Chicago, Illinois and an active council member at the Museum of Contemporary Photography at Columbia College. When she does unplug from Instagram, she enjoys reading and shooting a roll of film on her Pentax K1000.
Ara Babaian, Consulting Legal Advisor
Ara is a partner with Encore Law Group LLP in Los Angeles. He specializes in corporate and securities law and represents companies in a broad range of industries, including technology, media and entertainment, manufacturing and distribution, real estate, health care, and retail. Ara also supports nonprofit organizations, working with clients focused on refugee relief, children’s healthcare, and LGBT matters.
Robert works for David Hockney Inc. as personal assistant to the artist’s business manager. He has provided professional bookkeeping services to individuals and small businesses in Los Angeles for more than 20 years. Robert was the Treasurer for a non-profit theater company from 1997 to 2005 and since 2008, has served in various officer positions, including Treasurer, to a non-profit organization that supports members in their goal to achieve and maintain financial solvency. In the 1990s, Robert was an active member of an artist’s collective associated with ACT UP LA.
Joanne Euler, Secretary
Joanne has lived and traveled around the world, sparking her interest in and passion for world cultures and languages. She currently lives in Los Angeles and teaches English to non-native speakers. Joanne began her LGBTQ activism during the early 1990s by volunteering at Aids Project LA Food Pantry, and recently served on the steering committee of Gay Healers Circle, where she organized free public events focusing on physical, psychological, and spiritual health. Other nonprofit work includes serving on the Board of American Service to India. Joanne holds a BA in Philosophy from Pomona College and an MBA from Pepperdine University.
Rainbopedia is a collective effort that depends on the generous contributions of many. We appreciate the creativity and hard work of all of you who have participated. We sincerely thank you.
Jo and Peter Forman
Dr. Omar Minwalla