Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Reaching Out

An e-Newsletter by the IU Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Alumni Association

Celebration Weekend Was a Blast!February, 2015
In This Issue
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IU Kokomo



What a wonderful celebration weekend attended by faculty, staff, students, alumni and friends from across the nation!. Especially gratifying is the fact that many University officials attended the Neal-Marshall reception or the Grazie silent auction, or both.  We enjoy, and are grateful for, the strong public support from the administration. What a positive message this sends to our LGBT students and other young people!  Please feel free to contact any Board member with your comments or suggestions.  We welcome all input as we start to plan for next year's celebration.    


Mike Shumate, Past President

[email protected] 


 1. Seventh Celebration Weekend 


Steve Bretthauer (l), Chancellor Emeritus Gros Louis and Steve Sanders


Steven Tuchman (l) and Steve Bretthauer


The GLBTAA hosted its seventh Celebration Weekend January 30 - February 1. Coinciding with the Bloomington PRIDE Film Festival, the weekend provided diverse and fun-filled events. Especially for those who could not attend, below is a summary of our main events:


Reception at the Neal-Marshall Center


The weekend was launched on Friday, January 30 with a reception at the Neal-Marshall Black Cultural Center. Admission was free with complimentary hors d' oeuvres, along with a cash bar.  Steve Bretthauer, President of the IU GLBTAA, welcomed everyone, and we were then entertained by the Quarryland Men's Chorus. Steve next turned the program over to Doug Bauder, Coordinator of the GLBT Office, who presented two Spirit Awards to the Trans Advocacy Group and Sigma Phi Beta fraternity. TAG has worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of, and to make the Bloomington campus safer for, transgender and gender-nonconforming students. Sigma Phi Beta is predominantly for gay, straight, bisexual, and transgender men on the Bloomington campus. It provides a unique social and educational environment for its members within the traditional Greek system.   Next, our GLBTAA Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to two recipients, Kenneth R.R. Gros Louis, IU Chancellor Emeritus, and Indianapolis attorney Steven L. Tuchman. Steve Sanders, IU Maurer School of Law professor, presented the Award to Chancellor Gros Louis, and MaryEllen Bishop, Vice Chair of IU's Board of Trustees, presented the Award to Mr. Tuchman.  Biographical profiles of both recipients were included in our January Newsletter, which can be accessed by clicking "Newsletter Archive" in the left margin. Later that evening, Doug and others greeted everyone at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre, as part of the PRIDE Film Festival, and promoted our GLBTAA membership drive.  Member volunteers signed up several new members.  We have now surpassed 1,755 members nation-wide - and we're growing!    


GLBTAA Annual Board Meeting


The Board held its annual meeting at the DeVault Alumni Center on the following Saturday at 10:00 a.m. which was open to everyone.  A slate of directors was presented, and four directors were re-elected to the Board for additional two-year terms.  A full agenda was also addressed. 


Grazie! Reception and Silent Auction                     


Our main event was the silent auction and reception at the Grazie that Saturday evening, January 31. We continued the weekend's celebration with a record crowd and record proceeds from the silent auction! We welcomed faculty, staff, alumni and students, as we joined old friends, made new ones, discussed the latest developments in the State and beyond, shared in the joy of the significant strides we've made in recent years.....and had a blast! Sara Julian, a former member of the "Marching 100" brought out her Big Red horn to lead us in some good Hoosier songs, which added to the celebration of our win over Rutgers earlier in the day.


Bagels and Coffee at the GLBTSSS Office


We wrapped up the weekend over coffee and bagels (compliments of Bloomington Bagel Company) at the GLBT Office on Sunday morning.   


2.  Member Profile 
James D. Fielding



Jim Fielding is making his mark early in the dynamic world of retail and is committed to helping the LGBT community along the way, as well as to staying engaged with his alma mater! Jim is a proud product of the Buckeye State, born and raised in Toledo, Ohio. Jim is the son of an arson investigator/firefighter and X ray technician and was a fourth-generation Toledo resident. From an early age, he had a clear vision to attend a world-class university. After several campus visits and numerous scholarship applications, he was thrilled to matriculate at IU Bloomington in the fall of 1983, the recipient of a Hutton Honors College scholarship and several grants.


He quickly became immersed in the amazing and diverse opportunities available on campus. He became active in the Residence Halls Association government, helped re-colonize Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity, joined Alpha Kappa Psi professional business fraternity, worked part-time at the T.I.S. Bookstore, and became active in the IU Student Foundation. Originally drawn to Bloomington by the Kelley School of Business, he developed a love for liberal arts and decided on a Political Science degree, with an outside field in Business Administration (the predecessor to IU's current interdisciplinary LAMP ). Jim spent the second semester of his junior year studying in the Denmark International Studies Program in Copenhagen, Denmark. His plans then were to attend law school, with an emphasis in International Law.


Upon graduation in May, 1987, Jim decided to work for 1-2 years to fund law school and received several offers through Kelley's Business Placement office, primarily from retail and sales companies. Jim joined the Dayton Hudson Department Store Company Executive Training Program in Minneapolis, Minnesota. After just one year, he was promoted and discovered his love for the retail industry -- and at that point decided to embark upon his career path in this exciting, ever-changing industry! After three years at Dayton's, he was recruited to join Gap, Inc., where he spent nine years in a variety of merchandising roles. This move took him to San Francisco. There he fully embraced his sexuality and became active in various HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention programs. Jim was recruited by several companies and spent time with The J. Peterman Company in Lexington, KY and Land's End in Madison, WI.


In 2001, Jim joined the Walt Disney Company in Los Angeles. That same year, he met his fianc´┐Że and future husband, Edison Briones, an executive chef. Jim held several executive roles with the company, ultimately serving four years as President of Disney Stores Worldwide. During his time with Disney, he was proud to be involved in several charitable organizations, including Kidspace Children's Museum, Boys and Girls Club of America, and six years on the Board of Make-A-Wish Foundation International . He served as Chair of the Board of Make-A-Wish International for two years. Jim began to reconnect with IU during his time at Disney, and hosted several IU student interns at Disney. Jim's philanthropic work was recognized by Disney, where he was named the Walt Disney Company Volunteer Executive of the Year in 2010. He was also named the Tau Kappa Epsilon Alumnus of the Year in 2011


In 2012, Jim was named CEO, of Claire's, Inc., the global retailer of girls' jewelry and accessories. Jim and Edison relocated to Chicago with their dog and began their Midwestern adventure, reconnecting with friends and family. Most importantly, he reconnected with IU in a significant way and learned of the GLBT Office, the GLBTAA and the GLBTAA Scholarship Campaign. Jim was warmly welcomed back on campus by Doug Bauder and Mike Shumate. Jim and Edison were overwhelmed with the work and vision of the IU LGBT community. Jim commented, "I could not believe the emotions I felt when I stepped back on campus in Fall 2013....pride, awe, surprise, delight.....and most importantly unconditional acceptance and support." Completely impressed by what they saw and learned, the couple immediately committed financial support to the GLBT Office and the Scholarship Campaign. Edison loved his first visit to campus, and the couple returned home to decide how else they could help students and the University. Working with the IU Foundation and the School of Arts and Sciences, they committed to a multi-year pledge to support the GLBT Office, the GLBTAA Scholarship Campaign, and to endow the "Fielding Family Overseas Study Scholarship" in IU's new School of Global and International Studies .


Jim (second from top left) with cast of AwesomenessTV

In 2014, Jim was recruited to start a new division of Dreamworks Animation, 

AwesomenessTV , as Global Head of Consumer Products and Retail. Jim and Edison relocated back to Los Angeles, and have now been back on the West Coast for just six months. Jim is busy building his new team and working in the exciting YouTube/Social Media/New Media space. They are getting re-connected with their LA network and extended family, and enjoying spending time at their homes in Brentwood and Palm Springs, CA.


2015 will be a monumental year for the couple. Jim is taking on expanded responsibilities at Dreamworks Animation, will continue to build the AwesomenessTV business, is a member of the Board of Advisors of The Limited, and is working with several new charitable organizations, including GLSEN. Most importantly, Jim and Edison will be married in Palm Springs on April 18!   The couple will continue to support IU in a variety of ways, including enhancing their relationship with the GLBTAA and the new Global and International Studies School.  

'13 IUB Homecoming. Edison (l) Mike Shumate and Jim (r)




 3. GLBTAA Scholarship Campaign


Please continue to "spread the word" about our ground-breaking Campaign, which will help to endow our GLBTAA Scholarship Program. We awarded eight academic scholarships for the 2015 spring semester. Each recipient will be featured in one of our Newsletters. One is covered in paragraph # 6 below. After reviewing another heart-breaking story, we also awarded emergency funds to an IUB student. Since 2005, we have granted 57 scholarships (44 academic scholarships and 13 emergency scholarships) to IU students. Because of your generous support, we will be able to continue providing scholarships well into the future.  


Shane L. Windmeyer, MS '97, Executive Director and founder of Campus Pride, has commented recently about our Scholarship Program, particularly about our emergency grants: "IU remains one of the best campuses for GLBT support in the country. Crisis assistance funding, for example, is now a new benchmark for the Campus Pride Index, and the GLBTAA emergency scholarship is a great example. IU has definitely raised the bar nationally. I'm proud that IU has been a leader in that. IU has always stood as an institution of higher learning that embraces diversity."



Contributions can be made online at Campaign Contributions If you have any questions or need additional information, please do not hesitate to contact Mike Shumate at [email protected]  or 858-922-6105; or IUAA Alumni Relations Officer Clarence Boone at 800-824-3044. Again, heartfelt gratitude to everyone for supporting our Campaign.


THANK YOU, IU alumni, faculty, staff, students, allies and our many friends!

4. Laverne Cox



The GLBTAA was proud to co-host Laverne Cox's appearance at the IU Auditorium and to help welcome her back to campus. An article was published in IUB's Indiana Daily Student on January 15th. With permission, we are pleased to republish the article here. 


Last night, Laverne Cox opened to a full house.


An hour before the show started, freshman Andy Branham stood at the head of the long line that had formed in front of the auditorium doors.


Behind those doors, Laverne Cox, star of "Orange is the New Black," was prepping for her Union Board-sponsored talk.


"I watch 'Orange is the New Black,' and I know a little bit about Laverne's activism," Branham said. "I have seen some of her speeches before and I know she is a really good speaker, so I wanted to come and she what she had to say."


Wednesday evening, Cox spoke at the IU Auditorium about her journey of being transgender and how that influenced her career and life.


"Hopefully she speaks about her experience as a trans woman," Branham said. "I'm trans, so that's something I'd really like to hear about."


The crowd erupted, applauding and cheering as Cox graced the stage.


She sported a red and black dress and her curled blonde hair swayed as she placed herself behind the podium.


"Indiana University," Cox said. "Indiana University, oh my goodness."


Cox attended IU for two years for her undergraduate studies.


"I gotta tell you that I'm pretty emotional tonight because this is my first time being back in Bloomington, Indiana, since I left here so many years ago," Cox said. "It feels real good to be back."


When the cheering simmered, Cox switched gears to address a more serious subject.


"According to the Injustice at Every Turn National Transgender Survey, 78 percent of students in grades K through 12 who express a transgender identity experience harassment or bullying," she said. "Seventy-eight percent."


Cox continued, sharing some of her own experiences as a child that she struggled with while growing up.


"When I started interacting with other kids in preschool, I was weeded with words like 'sissy' or the 'F' word," Cox said. "From preschool up until high school I was bullied every single day."


Although Cox said her childhood was emotionally difficult, she was still able to joke about it with the audience.


"They said I acted like a girl," she said. "Whatever that means, because I know girls act in all sorts of ways."


Cox was able to make an impact on the audience even before she stepped on the stage at 7 p.m. last night. Ellen Epstein, a Bloomington resident, heard Cox speak in other interviews. She said that inspired her to hear her speak in person.


"Anyone who's that out there with their issues at this level in the culture inspire and validate me," Epstein said. "She sort of helps me to be open with myself."


The audience was not only filled with laughs, but also constantly nodding heads.


Cox said she wanted to share her personal struggles, but also her triumphs through her transformation of becoming a successful transgender woman working in Hollywood.


"I stand before you this evening as a proud, African American, transgender woman ... I stand before you as an artist, an actress, a sister and daughter, and I believe it's important to name the various intersecting components of my multiple identities," Cox said. "I'm not just one thing, and neither are you."



5. Facebook


The GLBTAA has had a Facebook page for some time now, but some of you may not be aware of it.  If you haven't already done so, check out our Facebook page at  "Like" our page and follow our Facebook posts regarding news, updates and information about our events.


Like us on Facebook

 6. Academic Scholarship Recipient 



Congratulations are extended to Annalyssa N. Long, one of our 2015 Spring Academic Scholarship recipients! Annalyssa is a Bloomington premed junior, majoring in Biology. While her course work is rigorous, she still has found the time to benefit the LGBT community, principally by volunteering with the IU GLB Speaker's Bureau. "Being a part of these panels allows me direct contact with hundreds of students... [I]t is one of the best ways to promote understanding because it allows students to ask any questions that they may have and get an answer that is right from the source" says Annalyssa. She has earned a number of scholastic achievements, including Alpha Lambda Delta, Founders Scholar and National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She has recently joined Alpha Sigma Alpha Sorority and started to volunteer for Crimson Corps. She has accomplished all this while maintaining an impressive 3.738 GPA. Her aspiration is to become a specialist in pediatric oncology and hopes to be able to participate in the outreach of Doctors Without Borders or Red Cross someday. "I believe that access to healthcare and medicine are basic human rights and plan on assisting in that process abroad," continues Annalyssa.


7. GLBTAA Scholarships


GLBTAA Academic Scholarships  Academic Scholarships are awarded to IU students enrolled at any IU campus, who are academically strong, as well as active in promoting diversity, tolerance and social justice. Scholarships are awarded to students based upon academic achievement, career goals, financial need, leadership experience, community service and extracurricular activities. Involvement in activities promoting diversity and raising awareness of GLBT and related issues on the student's campus or in his or her community is carefully reviewed by the Board. The maximum award for an Academic Scholarship is $1,000 per semester. An individual student may not receive more than $2,000. The deadline for the Fall 2015 semester is April 15, 2015.


IU GLBTAA Emergency Scholarships
Emergency Scholarships are awarded to those students who experience the loss of financial support when they make the courageous decision to disclose their sexual orientation or gender identity to their families. Emergency Scholarships help to ensure that students need not choose between their education at IU and living life openly and honestly. Emergency Scholarships are awarded to students attending any IU campus. The maximum award for an Emergency Scholarship is $1,500 per semester, and a student may not receive more than $3,000.
You can learn more about the GLBTAA Scholarship Program and apply online at:


8. Membership


Encourage your friends to join the GLBTAA. They can visit our website here  and join.  There are no membership dues, and you do not have to be a member of the IUAA, or an IU degree-holder. We are approaching 1,600 members nation-wide, and we're growing! We appreciate your continued commitment! It is because of you that the GLBTAA is in existence, continues to grow and continues to serve our important mission on all eight of IU's campuses. If you are a member and wish to continue receiving our e-Newsletters, please make sure we have a current e-mail address for you.   You can visit to see if your official record, including your e-mail address, is current.  Thank you for your support through your membership. We look forward to serving you now and in the years to come. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Clarence Boone, Alumni Relations Officer, at: [email protected] or Mike Shumate at [email protected] .


If not already a member, please consider joining the IUAA by visiting, by [email protected]  or calling (800) 824-3044. By joining the IUAA, among many other things, you help fund the various GLBTAA programs, along with gaining access to IUAA member-only events.


If you would like to unsubscribe and terminate future communications from the GLBTAA, please respond to:  [email protected].