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.
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.
Deryck Allen, Treasurer
Deryck Allen is the CEO of TaxTalk Inc, with over twenty years comprehensive experience in tax and financial management, research, planning, compliance, audit, operations management, and Big Four CPA firm experience. Additionally, Mr. Allen has been a Revenue Officer with the IRS, and, as Fiscal Controller for Burbank Airport, was responsible for the preparation of the Treasurer’s Report and interim audits. Deryck has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in Accounting and a Minor in Pan African Studies – Political Economy and Development, as well as a Master’s Degree in Business Taxation.
Robert Berg, Secretary
Robert Berg is the facilities and property manager at David Hockney Inc. Since 2019, Robert has served on the board of a non-profit organization that supports members to achieve and maintain financial solvency — as Co-Secretary for the General Service Board and as Secretary for several committees. He also chaired the 2019 Los Angeles Host Committee to produce the World Service Conference for that organization. Robert has produced independent film and theatre in LA for over 30 years, including the Fabulous Monsters Performance Group and Osseus Labyrint. Robert was a active member of an artists’ collective associated with ACT UP/LA.
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.
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