Coming Together

Emily Jones worked as a chemist for Kodak, and like most LGBTQ employees then, she was closeted at work, feeling isolated from her peers and managers. At the 1990 Toronto Gay Games, Jones met another Kodak employee. He knew a few gay and lesbian people working at Kodak, and they made plans to start a support group back in Rochester.

There were other identity groups of Kodak employees forming then and more publicly, with the support of Kodak management. The first employee network was the Women's Forum of Kodak Employees. Shortly after, Network Northstar former, an African-American network, which management hoped would reaffirm Kodak's support for diversity. Inspired by the success of those networks, David Kosel and Joe Moliere, his partner, imagined the possibility of a gay and lesbian network. 

In 1992, Kosel and Moliere attended a workplace diversity conference in California, where they met Susan Connelly. She was working with Kodak's Human Resources Diversity Initiative, and the gay men came out to Connelly. She helped connect them to Jones's group, and together they became the Lambda Network at Kodak.

At first, Lambda Network met monthly as a mutual support group. In 1993, the Lambda Network organized and hosted its first public event by inviting Deb Price, the first nationally syndicated columnist on gay life, to speak in Rochester (Washington Post).

It was a success, and in 1994, the group finalized its first bylaws with structural inspiration from the women and African American networks; the Lambda Network desired to facilitate "a supportive work environment for all individuals regardless of their sexual orientation" through "support and education.” In 1995, they elected their first board of directors to pursue that goal.

Coming Together