Rainbopedia is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to provide an online platform for documenting, archiving, and exploring global LGBTQ+ history, current events, and personal stories.
Our vision is to create an international meeting place where everyone can exchange ideas, learn from each other, and create an authentic record for future generations—something LGBTQ+ people have never had before. Rainbopedia will amplify marginalized voices, broaden acceptance, and help end homophobia around the world.
This website is a preview of what Rainbopedia will become, and contains 14 stories that represent the type of user-generated content that will be featured in the finished platform when it launches. The Rainbopedia platform will give users all over the world a scalable, searchable archive of text, audio, photos, and video, all linked to a timeline and world map.
This preview demonstrates Rainbopedia’s multilingual translation feature, which can instantly translate every element of the platform, including all stories, into 35+ languages. Rainbopedia will have the capacity for thousands of registered users to create millions of pages for millions of visitors. 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 in the world’s LGBTQ+ population.
This game-changing online resource will be the only place where LGBTQ+ history, current events, and personal stories are brought together. It will be the go-to site for educators and scholars, seniors with history to share, teenagers wondering how they fit in, or anyone with a story to tell or the desire to know more. 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, and includes us all.
Rainbopedia is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. By participating, donating, and spreading the word, you can help us realize this extraordinary vision.
Eric Handel, Founder/CEO
An entrepreneur who has built several successful businesses, Eric created Rainbopedia as a global platform to transform the world by presenting a more accurate picture of the LGBTQ+ experience. Eric has devoted his adult life to LGBTQ+ and AIDS activism, campaigning against California’s Briggs Initiative in 1978, co-founding an artists’ collective associated with ACT UP/LA in the 1980s and 90s, and producing activist art for Queer Nation and other LGBTQ+ organizations. He is also a veteran designer and art director, whose graphic style and understanding of the power of storytelling informed his design of the Rainbopedia prototype.
Ellen Roebuck, Co-Founder/COO
Ellen has guided brands in the arts, entertainment, retail, and corporate worlds for more than 25 years. She was Art Director at Columbia Pictures, and at Tajima Creative, where she directed projects for the branches and corporate headquarters of Washington Mutual Bank. As Creative Director at Belkin International, her packaging designs appeared all over the world, including at Apple and Target stores in the U.S. Her work with Rainbopedia combines her leadership, development, and project management expertise with her long-standing involvement with the LGBTQ+ community, which began in the ’80s in Washington, D.C., with her work in response to the AIDS health crisis.
Jeffrey Nelson, Co-Founder/CCO
Jeffrey is a skilled professional writer, editor, and project manager who has more than 30 years experience at such advertising firms as Saatchi & Saatchi and The Designory. Clients included Mazda, Toyota, Mercedes-Benz, and Audi, which included the roles of Copy Editor and Contributing Writer at Audi Magazine. Documenting events and communicating information are a passion for him and an ever-instructive journey. He believes that humankind has the capacity to solve its problems and is drawn to efforts that help further these 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.
Robert Berg, Treasurer
Robert works for David Hockney Inc. as the facilities and property 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, and is currently on the General Service Board of 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.
Mike Thompson, Nonprofit Consultant and Leadership Coach
Mike is a visionary and transformational leader with a track record of empowering and engaging teams to create lasting impact. Since 2004, Mike has led national, state, and community-level LGBTQ+ organizations and includes experience in very conservative environments when leading Equality Utah, changing political climates when working with Gill Foundation to establish One Colorado, more diverse and marginalized communities of color when leading the LGBTQ+ Community Center of the Desert to open The Center Coachella, and more progressive spaces like Los Angeles and New York City when working with GLAAD.
Fred Dust, Business Strategy Consultant
Fred Dust is the founder of Dust&Company and works at the intersection of business, society, and creativity. As a designer, author, educator, consultant, trustee, and advisor to social and business leaders, he is one of the world’s most original thinkers, applying the craft and optimism of human-centered design to the intractable challenges we face today. As a former Global Managing Partner at the acclaimed international design firm IDEO, Fred works with leaders and change agents to unlock the creative potential of business, government, education, and philanthropic organizations. He is also proud to be faculty at the Esalen Institute.
Joseph R. Hawkins, PhD, 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.
Marialidia Marcotulli, PhD, Advancement Specialist
Marialidia Marcotulli is a seasoned executive in Technology, Sustainability and Culture. As a Founder, Executive Director, Senior Producer and Organizational/Business Development Strategist she brings her IT knowledge through quantitative and qualitative research methodologies to the advancement of projects and creatives. She has served on boards including KWMR community radio, MarinArts.org, Prison Yoga Project and is an advisor to the Earth Charter Institute in San José, Costa Rica.
Jeffrey Langham, PhD, 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.
Michael Reese, 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.
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.
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