Join SJSU Special Collections & Archives and BAYMEC Community Foundation
as we celebrate
Bay Area Pride: 50 years of LGBTQ History, Politics, and Culture
Thursday, October 17, 2019, 4 – 6 p.m.
King Library Schiro Room, Fifth Floor
With reflections and conversations from Wiggsy Sivertsen, Activist and BAYMEC Co-founder; Ken Yeager, Politician and BAYMEC Co-founder; Maribel Martínez, Director, Office of LGBTQ Affairs in Santa Clara County; moderated by Dr. Robert Marx, Assistant Professor, Child and Adolescent Development at SJSU with BAYMEC Community Foundation.
Wiggsy Sivertsen is an icon in the struggle for LGBTQ rights. In 1968, she was fired from an agency where she had worked for five years when they found out she was a lesbian. It was at that point she decided that freedom for lesbian and gay people and other “at risk” communities was going to be a major driving force in her life. This commitment led her to co-found BAYMEC with former Santa Clara County Board Supervisor, Ken Yeager, in 1984. Wiggsy is a retired professor and former Director of Counseling Services at San José State University.
Ken Yeager is the first openly gay elected official in Santa Clara County. Ken believes growing up gay in Riverside, "maneuvering as a teenager between divisions of male/female and gay/straight," has made him a more effective public official and allowed him to build consensus among diverse groups. A strong supporter of public health, he is a champion for preventative health measures and is a long-time advocate for expanding parks and trails throughout the county. Prior to his election, he taught political science at San José State University for 12 years. An avid runner, he has completed more than 30 marathons and numerous triathlons, and often runs on trails in San José.
Maribel Martínez is the Director of the Office of LGBTQ Affairs in Santa Clara County. She spent the last 15 years working with various nonprofits in Santa Clara County that address issues ranging from education reform, community safety measures, direct social services, and health care outreach to public policy. For nine years she served as the founding director of the Associated Students César Chávez Community Action Center, creating interdisciplinary and innovative approaches to infusing social justice and service learning in the curricular experiences of San José State University students. She holds a BA in Political Science and Sociology, a graduate degree in Applied Anthropology.
Dr. Robert Marx is an Assistant Professor of Child and Adolescent Development at San José State University. He is an interdisciplinary scholar and his community-engaged research and practice focus on reframing dominant visions of queer young people so that they are no longer viewed as deviant, damaged, or at-risk, but rather as the gifted, complex people they are. Before coming to the Bay Area, Robert was a high school English teacher and a Gay-Straight Alliance advisor, which brought together his love of reading and his desire to create affirming places for young people to learn, advocate for themselves, and make changes in their communities.