By Jake Rossen
By Jesse Marx
By Michelle LeBow
By Alleen Brown
By Maggie LaMaack
By CP Staff
By Jesse Marx
After several months of test-marketing ideas and at least one false start, the Gay and Lesbian Community Action Council announced May 22 that it had adopted a new name. "OutFront Minnesota" will become the new moniker of Minnesota's most visible advocacy and support organization for GLBT citizens.
"It's been a really long process," says executive director Ann DeGroot. "I'm happy we've got a new name -- a name we really like."
The name change follows a structural reorganization of the nonprofit agency that began January 1, 1998. GLCAC announced last fall that it would form a parent corporation to better separate its political-organizing activities from its support services. Additionally, DeGroot says, a number of community members had objected to the council's name, saying it wasn't inclusive of bisexual and transgender individuals.
In December, the agency rolled out a new name, Q Minnesota. The name was dropped, however, a month later, after Q Monthly publisher Mark Bartel voiced concern that the similarity between the publication's name and the agency's new name could cause confusion. DeGroot says a handful of individuals also objected to the use of letter "Q" because it stood for the word "queer." "They had concerns about how that might play out in the political realm," she says.
The name OutFront Minnesota was well-received in an informal poll the organization conducted this spring, DeGroot says. The organization already has used the name at its annual organizing conference, held each year in April.
"We even had a couple of people write us or E-mail us, suggesting we use OutFront as our name," DeGroot says.
The organization will officially begin using the name on letterhead and publicity materials in mid-June. A logo, currently being developed by a local marketing and graphic-arts agency, will also be released when the new name is officially rolled out, DeGroot says.